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Final nod awaited for Oman’s clean coal power project


Conrad Prabhu -
A final green-light for the implementation of Oman’s first-ever clean coal-based Independent Power Project at Duqm is awaited from the government before the procurement process can progress, according to an official of Oman Power & Water Procurement Company (OPWP), part of Nama Group.
OPWP, the sole procurer of new power generation and water desalination capacity, is overseeing the procurement process linked to the development of a proposed 1,200 MW plant based on clean coal technologies at the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Duqm. A prequalification process initiated last May elicited responses from a number of international developers signalling their interest in participating in the competitive tender for an award to build the landmark project.
“The procurement process is still going on and we are ready to issue our Request for Proposals (RfP) for the coal project,” said Brian Wood, Planning & Economics Director —OPWP. “But we are waiting for final government approval for the project,” Wood told the Observer.
Around 3,000 MW of clean coal based power generation is envisioned for development in the Sultanate by 2030 in line with the governments’ fuel diversification policy, which moots a concerted shift away from natural gas as the dominant fuel resource for power generation. Solar, wind, waste-to-energy, and other alternative resources have been included in Oman’s energy mix going forward.
“This plant will meet the most current international standards for environmental quality and emissions control,” said OPWP in its 7-year Outlook Statement covering the 2018 -2024 timeframe. “It is expected to reduce gas needs of the electricity sector by 4-5 million standard cubic metres/d, enabling the Ministry of Oil and Gas to supply new industrial projects.”
According to the state-run power procurer, the proposed Duqm Clean Coal IPP is expected to provide 600 MW of capacity by 2024, rising to 1,200 MW at full power in 2025, subject to “timely approvals”. “The plant will provide essential power supply to the developing Duqm industrial hub, and export surplus capacity to the Main Interconnected System (MIS). In 2024, considering expected Duqm demand of about 110 MW, the contribution to MIS demand may be about 490 MW. This estimate of exports to the MIS may be revised depending on the pace of Duqm demand growth,” it stated.

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