MUSCAT: A comprehensive strategy for the decarbonization of Oman’s transport sector targets, among other things, the introduction of an estimated 22,000 electric vehicles by 2030, up from a few hundred presently.
According to Eng Said Hamood al Maawali, Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, a combination of technological advancements and efficient charging infrastructure will help drive the uptake of electric vehicles (EV) in Oman going forward.
“The public electric charging infrastructure is currently undergoing upgrades, with emphasis placed on enhancing accessibility through user-friendly applications and fast, efficient chargers,” Al Maawali said.
“Technological advances have led to the development of dual-combustion vehicles, which have been implemented locally within the Sultanate of Oman. These breakthroughs have greatly contributed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, estimated to have dropped by 40% from trucks and heavy equipment,” he added in an article on ‘Green Mobility’, published in the latest edition of ‘Wealth’, the newsletter of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals.
A 7-year roadmap unveiled recently by the Ministry envisions the potential for the large-scale retroffiting of heavy trucks to operate on a combination of diesel and hydrogen. Also known as ‘Hydrogen Co-Combustion’, this dual fuel is seen as a short-term decarbonization solution for the heavy transportation sector. Dual-combustion vehicles, operating on 40 percent hydrogen, slash carbon emissions by 40 percent as well.
Furthermore, to support the electrification of the sector, EV charging infrastructure is proposed to be expanded to include a total of 350 public chargers distributed across key arterial and public roads by 2026, said Al Maawali.
Commenting on plans for the decarbonisation of the maritime and aviation sectors, the Minister stated: “Regarding ports, the government has developed a detailed roadmap including programs and projects aiming at reducing emissions in ports and maritime sector. Furthermore, a collaborative plan with the Civil Aviation Authority has been set to use sustainable aviation fuel to decrease flight emissions.”
To support energy transition objectives in the ports and maritime sectors, the Ministry is advocating for the electrification of port cranes, as well as the deployment of smart applications to reduce emissions during port operations. One such initiative, dubbed the “Future of Mobility” program, calls for connecting ships to electrical power when they are at berth – a move that will make a significant contribution to decreasing carbon emissions, he noted.
“These plans provide electric car owners with special benefits, including tax exemptions, no custom charges, and free registration. (The Ministry) also collaborates with commercial agencies in the Sultanate of Oman to offer exclusive deals on electric vehicles,” Al Maawali added in conclusion.
Oman’s immediate goal is to cut greenhouse gas emissions associated with the transportation sector, currently estimated at around 22 million tonnes per annum, by 3 per cent in 2030.