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Oman’s grid operator plans 32 power transmission projects

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Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC), the majority state-owned operator of the nation’s transmission system, says it has secured approval for the implementation of a large pipeline of projects planned over the next years aimed at, among other things, integrating a wave of upcoming solar and wind based power projects into the grid.

As many as 32 transmission projects, including grid stations, overhead transmission lines and 400kV interconnectors, are proposed to be implemented at key locations across the Main Interconnected System (MIS) serving the northern half of Oman, and the Dhofar System in the south.

“Thirty-two transmission projects in MIS and Dhofar System are planned over the coming five-year period 2023-2027,” said Eng Saleh bin Nasser al Rumhi, CEO – OETC. “Most of the projects are designed to increase the transmission system capacity to meet the future growth in demand, connect new generations, connect new rural areas, and meet the Transmission Security Standard criteria,” he noted in the company’s new 5-Year Transmission Capability Statement (2023 – 2027), approved recently by the Authority for Public Services Regulation (APSR).

The majority of these transmission projects are linked to an array of new solar PV and wind-based developments lined up for procurement as Independent Power Projects (IPPs) in the coming years. Many of these renewables-based projects are due to come up in relatively remote, yet solar and wind resource-rich parts of the country, thus requiring investments in transmission systems to connect them to the grid.

Large-scale solar scemes slated to be connected to the grid include the 1000MW Manah I and Manah II Solar PV IPPs in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate. The giant scheme – the biggest of its kind so far in Oman – will be fully energized only in 2025, but transmission systems connecting the project to the grid are expected to be completed by Q2 2024. Two other solar IPPs – one envisioned in Al Dhahirah Governorate (500 MW Ibri III Solar IPP) and another similar-sized scheme planned elsewhere in the Main Interconnected System – will also be linked to the grid.

According to Eng Al Rumhi, Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) – which oversees the procurement of all new power and water capacity – has also sent connection requests for a string of new wind farm projects planned over the coming years. The list includes plans for a 200MW wind farm at Duqm and 100MW capacity project in Jalan Bani Bu Ali. Both sites will be connected to the grid by Q2 2026.

Another set of connection requests concern plans for a second 100MW wind farm (Dhofar II Wind IPP) at Harweel in Dhofar Governorate, currently the site of Oman’s first wind project. This additional wind farm is expected to the connected to the grid by Q4 2026. Additionally, a 200MW wind farm in Ras Madrakah is due to be integrated into the grid in Q2 2027.

But the flagship transmission project of OETC is the ongoing North-South Interconnector Project (Rabt), the first phase of which – linking the MIS with Duqm – due for completion in June 2023. The second phase of Rabt will travel further south from Duqm to link up with the Dhofar System, effectively creating a single unified national grid by 2027, the CEO added.

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