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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Need for new water projects identified

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Escalating growth: Potable water demand ranges from 3pc per annum in Main Interconnected System, 5pc in Sharqiyah Zone to 8pc in Dhofar


Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), the single buyer of electricity and desalinated water output in the Sultanate of Oman, is firming up plans for new Independent Water Projects (IWP) to be established at key locations around the country in line with potable water demand growth.


Peak water demand in the Main Interconnected System (MIS), covering much of the northern half of the country, is projected to increase at an average rate of 3 per cent per annum to around 1,341,000 cubic metres/day (m3/d) in 2027, up from 1,067,000 m3/day in 2020, the state-owned procurement company (Member of Nama Group) noted in its 7-Year Outlook Statement spanning the 2021 – 2027 timeframe.


The trend averages 5 per cent annually in the Sharqiyah Zone where water demand is anticipated to climb to 204,000 m3/day in 2027, up from 145,000 m3/day in 2020. Dhofar is poised to witness stronger demand growth of 8 per cent annually to 285,000 m3/day in 2027, versus 165,000 m3/day in 2020.


Based on growth assessments provided by Oman Water & Wastewater Company (OWWSC), also a member of Nama Group, OPWP is firming up proposals for new water capacity primarily in North Batinah and Dhofar.


A procurement process initiated by OPWP for a new water scheme in the MIS in 2018 is expected to be progressed in the coming years. The propsed North Batinah IWP, as it is called, is sized at 150,000 m3/day (33 million imperial gallons per day – MIGD) of capacity. According to an earlier timeframe for its implementation, the water scheme was proposed to come fully on stream in Q2 2026, with an initial phase becoming operational earlier in Q2 2025.


Also expected to make headway is Dhofar Water 2025 – an Independent Water Project with a capacity of 150,000 m3/day (33 MIGD). A Request for Proposals (RfP) is envisioned upon “confirmation of land allocation and availability of transmission infrastructure”, OPWP noted in its Outlook Statement.


The procurement company also foresees the need for additional capacity of about 100,000 m3/day to be developed in South Al Batinah following the expiration of Barka II PWPA (Power & Water Purchase Agreement) in 2024.


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