MUSCAT, APRIL 30
Multimillion dollar investments in a 400 kV transmission grid that connects the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Duqm to the national grid will significantly enhance the mega hub’s investment appeal – particularly to heavy industries.
Duqm SEZ, presently powered by modest-sized generation facilities, is being integrated into the national grid as part of the North-South Interconnection (Rabt) project spearheaded by Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC), the owner and operator of the nation’s main transmission networks in the north and south of the country. Phase 1 of Rabt, effectively extending the Main Interconnection System to Duqm, is slated for completion by around June this year.
“The Rabt project will provide secure, stable, and reliable electricity to the Special Economic Zone in Duqm as it will connect the Duqm electricity network with the 400 kV national grid, ensuring that the factories and large companies in Duqm are provided with their needs of electricity, which will further help to attract more investors to the area, provide more employment opportunities and help the growth of the national economy,” said OETC, a member of Nama Group, in its latest 2022 Annual Report.
Anchoring Duqm SEZ into the 400 kV National Grid are two major grid stations – Duqm (400/132/33 kV) and Mahout (400/33 kV) – built as part of Phase 1 of the Rabt project. They are among a total of five large grid stations installed along the 660km route of the first phase of the interconnection project.
With Duqm’s integration into the 400 kV National Grid, the SEZ will be suitably geared to cater to the requirements of a new wave of energy-intensive investments slated to come on stream in the hub. These investments are envisioned across the industrial, chemical, mining, fisheries, hospitality and other economic sectors. Several world-scale green ammonia and clean energy projects are anticipated to come up in the hinterland of Duqm as well.
Duqm is currently served by a relatively small integrated generation and distribution system, owned and operated by the Rural Areas Electricity Company (Tanweer), a member of Nama Group. Tanweer owns and operates a 67 MW diesel-fuel fired power plant for supply to this zone. Tanweer also has a supply contract with Marafiq, the operator of a new integrated power and water plant that serves OQ Duqm Refinery, for surplus capacity. With Duqm’s imminent integration into the National Grid, industries and other consumers will have access to relatively low-cost electricity starting from later this year.