ACWA Power led consortium to build first solar power project

Muscat, March 17 – Oman has named the consortium led by Saudi-based ACWA Power as the successful winner of its licence to build the nation’s first utility-scale solar photovoltaic based Independent Power Project (IPP) at Ibri in Dhahirah Governorate at a cost of around $400 million. The announcement was made by Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) — the sole procurer of new power and water capacity under the Sector Law — at a press briefing held in the presence of Salim bin Nasser al Aufi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, which recently assumed responsibility for electricity-related activities in the Sultanate.

OPWP CEO Yaqoob al Kiyumi said the winning consortium, comprising ACWA Power (Saudi Arabia), Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Corporation and Kuwait-based Alternative Energy Projects Co, was selected following a detailed financial, technical and legal evaluation of bid proposals. Also in contention for the prestigious award were consortiums headed by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC (Masdar) and Marubeni Corporation respectively. In remarks, Salim al Aufi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, said the award of the Ibri II solar project marked the start of an ambitious renewable energy development programme that promises to yield benefits for current and future generations. It was also a demonstration of Oman’s vision to diversify its energy resources, he noted.

According to Al Kiyumi, the project will offer a peak power generation capacity of 500 MW, which is adequate to meet the electricity needs of an estimated 33,000 homes. With PV panels covering an area of around 1,300 hectares, the project will also offset 340,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Also addressing at the media briefing were Qais al Zakwani, Executive President — Authority for Electricity Regulation Oman; Omar al Wahaibi, CEO — Nama Group, and other high level officials of the sector. Ibri II Solar IPP will be commercially operational by June 2021.