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Consultant sought to master-plan green hydrogen corridors in Oman

(Picture for illustration only. © Reuters)
(Picture for illustration only. © Reuters)
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The Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ) has invited proposals from qualified consultants for the master-planning of sites earmarked for renewable and green energy projects within its vast concessions distributed across the Sultanate of Oman.


Oman’s three main gateways at Suhar, Duqm and Salalah, as well as ports envisioned in the future, are expected to host the large majority of industries and storage sites constituting the downstream components of major green hydrogen projects due to come up in the coming years and decades. Indispensable to their successful operation are dedicated service corridors for pipelines and other utilities that will link the upstream components, to be established deeper in the hinterland, with the downstream elements located closer to the ports – a goal that OPAZ seeks to ensure together with Hydrogen Oman (Hydrom), the orchestrator and master-planner of the nation’s nascent green hydrogen industry.


Following the recent award of land blocks for green hydrogen projects – which will come up in the close vicinity of the SEZ at Duqm – OPAZ says it is now gearing up to support the establishment of key infrastructure elements that will be necessary for the project developers to progress their mega-scale ventures through to fruition.


“OPAZ, working in partnership with Hydrom and other stakeholders, is leading the development of an integrated renewable energy strategy, and has identified the most attractive areas in Oman to produce renewable energy, green hydrogen and associated derivatives, such as ammonia,” the Authority said in a brief overview on its latest tender.


“In this context, the Special Economic Zone at Duqm is in the process of attracting integrated projects from leading international companies across the full green hydrogen value chain including renewable energy production, hydrogen production, hydrogen conversion and offtakes. OPAZ is looking for a competent consultant to do the master-planning of plots, corridors and infrastructure, and carry out the required studies,” the Authority noted.


The successful bidder, according to OPAZ, will also support the Authority in developing a set of regulations and standards that will be applied during the development of future green energy projects.


Additionally, as part of its remit, the consultant will provide advisory services linked to the development of the downstream components of the green hydrogen projects, which are expected to come up close to the Port of Duqm.


In addition to identifying the most appropriate areas for these downstream components, the consultant is also required to master-plan the service corridors, as well as the linkages between the upstream and downstream components. The location of export sites and associated facilities will be suitably delineated as well.


Significantly, the tender adds to a busy week that saw the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, along with Hydrom, sign agreements with consortiums set to invest around $20 billion in three green hydrogen projects with a commitment to jointly produce around half a million tonnes of green molecules by 2030.


Separately, Hydrom signed an MoU with OQ Gas Networks (OQGN), the sole transporter of natural gas in Oman and owner of the natural gas transportation network, to study the development of green hydrogen network infrastructure in the country. Bids for OPAZ’s consultancy tender are due in by July 5, 2023.


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