Various clean energy sources have been lined up to power operations of the world’s largest green hydrogen-ready steel plant in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD). Involving an investment of $3 billion, the first-of-its-kind project will be fully operational in 2027.
Renewable wind and solar power will provide around 16 hours of electricity daily for the Vulcan Green Steel (VGS) plant, while efforts are on to explore additional energy storage options to bridge the remaining 7 to 8 hours to ensure 24x7 energy supply.
The foundation laying ceremony of the project was held under the auspices of Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Chairman of the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones, and Naveen Jindal, Chairman of Jindal Group.
Speaking to the Observer on the sidelines of the event, Venkatesh Jindal, Vice Chairman, VGS, said an MoU has been signed with the OQAE (the Alternative Energy vertical of OQ Group) to explore joint development of an Integrated Energy Valley (IEV), a first of its kind project in GCC.
“One of the most attractive parts of this project is the continuous exploration of Integrated Energy Valley (IEV), a first-of-its-kind project in the GCC. We leave no chance to use renewable energy sources extensively,” Jindal said, adding that such an initiative combines solar, wind and energy storage to provide round-the-clock, cost-competitive green energy to meet the growing decarbonisation needs of large industries in Oman, such as VGS.
The IGV initiative aims to secure the plant’s green energy requirements until renewable hydrogen becomes available at Duqm.
As part of the objectives of Oman Vision 2040 and the National Energy Strategy to derive at least 30 per cent of electricity from renewables by 2030, the country has always been exploring ways to expand its electricity generation capacities through renewable independent power projects (IPPs). As a result, Oman has embarked on many projects to meet this target.
Accordingly, a number of renewable energy projects have been commissioned or are currently underway. The PDO-driven Miraah concentrated solar power project paved the way for renewable energy projects in the country in 2015.
Oman operates a 50 MW wind farm in Harweel, a 100 MW solar plant by PDO, and a 500MW solar PV project at Ibri. Two more solar PV plants, each of 500 MW, are under development in Manah. Likewise, the ‘Sahim’ initiative supports installing small-scale solar systems on residential and commercial buildings - initiatives that stand testimony to the constant drive towards tapping renewable energy sources.