MUSCAT, JAN 16
Abdulsalam al Murshidi, President of Oman Investment Authority (OIA), revealed that the Saudi Public Investment Fund, on the directives of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has allocated $5 billion for investment in the Sultanate of Oman.
Al Murshidi, in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, an Arabic international newspaper headquartered in London, said that the Sultanate of Oman and Saudi Arabia have come a long way towards integration and strengthening the partnership between the two countries, saying “what happened during the last two years, after the visit of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to the Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia), exceeds what happened during the past twenty years.” He also revealed the appointment of an attaché to the investment body at the Oman embassy in Riyadh who will act as a focal person to link the Sultanate of Oman with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Al Murshidi revealed that the OIA took the initiative to bring investments in the clean energy sector, especially green hydrogen, to the Sultanate of Oman, with four big projects in partnership with international firms including DEME, Uniper, InterContinental Energy, EnerTech Holdings, Marubeni, Linde, Dutco, Air Products and Saudi company ACWA Power. These projects are:
• Green Energy Oman: An Omani-Saudi-American consortium and represents an extension of the Saudi investments of ACWA Power and its presence in Oman for a decade. It is a twin project of what is happening in NEOM in Saudi Arabia. The project, which will consist of approximately 25 gigawatts (GW) of renewable solar and wind energy producing over 1.8 million tonnes of zero-carbon green hydrogen per annum, will make the Sultanate of Oman the largest producer of clean energy in the world.
• HYPORT: A project to develop a green hydrogen and green ammonia production facility in Duqm Special Economic Zone. The project will have a capacity of 1.3 gigawatts of wind and solar energy.
• H2Oman: A project to develop a green hydrogen and green ammonia production facility in the Salalah Free Zone. The project will have a capacity of 1.3 gigawatts of wind and solar energy.
• Salalah Hydrogen (SalalaH2): The project will see the development of a second green hydrogen and green ammonia production facility in the Salalah Free Zone. The project will have a renewable capacity of 3.8 gigawatts of wind and solar energy.
Al Murshidi stressed that these investments reflect the economic diplomacy pursued by the Sultanate of Oman. In order to enhance the country’s global position in the energy sector and contribute to achieving economic diversification and developing the national economy in accordance with the priorities of Oman Vision 2040, these four projects are expected to generate more than 30 gigawatts of renewable energy in Oman to produce green hydrogen, with a value exceeding $40 billion. He added: "In addition to these four projects, we have a large number of investment requests in this field, which confirms our success in marketing the Sultanate of Oman as a fertile environment for investment in clean energy."
“The Omani-Saudi Coordination Council has yielded a number of projects, and we had the honour to be the focal point with the relevant authorities in Saudi Arabia,” Al Mushidi said, “including the Public Investment Fund and the Saudi Investment Authority and other companies such as SABIC, Naqua and others.” The partnership between the Oman’s Asyad Group and Saudi shipping giant Bahri in the field of maritime transport and the entry Saudi Public Investment Fund as a main partner in Rakiza Fund — whose main purpose is to attract capital from international investors — are models for Gulf and Arab cooperation.
The OIA president expressed his gratitude on the allocation of $5 billion by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, by orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to establish a company in the Sultanate of Oman. “We are currently taking the procedures for registering the company, renting offices for it, and hiring employees in it, in addition to that we have started searching for investment opportunities that the company can enter into,” Al Murshidi added.