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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Oman mulls blocks for green energy projects on concession basis

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Decarbonisation strategy: New dedicated hydrogen company to be set up after careful review


BUSINESS REPORTER


Oman’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals is currently working with a number of government ministries in identifying areas suitable for renewable energy and green hydrogen related investment. This effort is being coordinated with the ministries of Housing and Urban Planning, Defence and the Environment Authority – part of a goal to support FDI inflows into this key sector.


An official told ONA that the sites, once delineated into small marketable areas, will be offered to interested investors on a concession basis similar to the block-system prevalent in the Oil & Gas sector.


Green hydrogen produced from these solar and wind-based investments will be used to decarbonize local industries, and also attract investment in green iron and steel, cement, aluminium and other heavy industries. Surplus output will be exported, the official said.


Areas targeted investment cover the wilayats of Duqm, Al Shuwamiyah & Halaniyat Islands and Thamrait, he noted.


At the same time, the Ministry is focused on formulating the requisite legislative and regulatory frameworks to support investment in new energies. These regulations will be issued before the end of this year, he said, adding that concession areas for renewable energy and hydrogen investments will also be unveiled during a green hydrogen summit slated during the end of this year.


The official also confirmed that efforts are underway to establish a dedicated company to support hydrogen related investments. Its relationship with OQ, the integrated energy group of the Sultanate of Oman, which is currently pursuing a number of green hydrogen projects, will be clearly defined. OQ is working with international partners, including DEME Group of Belgium, in developing a number of mega hydrogen schemes. Whether the new company will result from the merger or existing entities to create a dedicated hydrogen developer is yet to be fully studied, he pointed out.


The Sultanate of Oman, he further noted, will continue to benefit from partnerships it has signed with investors from, among other countries, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland and Korea, in the development of a sound hydrogen industry in the country. Supplementing this capability are commitments from international companies, including Shell, TotalEnergies and BP to explore solar and wind based opportunities in the Sultanate of Oman, he added.


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