First solar project milestone for Oman

Muscat, Nov 21 – Oman’s first solar utility project, which can produce 500 MW of power, will be a milestone in the nation’s ambitious plans of generating alternative energy. The project is currently under way.
The company concerned will be inviting a Request from Qualification (RFQ) from interested firms by this year-end, according to the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company SAOC (OPWP).
“At the moment, we are working on the Request For Qualification for the country’s first solar utility project to be completed most likely by this year-end,” Yaqoob Saif al Kiyumi, CEO, OPWPC, told the Observer.
Upon completion of the project, the expected capacity will be around 500 MW. OPWPC has identified three locations for the project: either Manah, Adam or Ibri, a source said.
Currently, the demand for power in the country for various industrial and domestic purposes has been increasing by more than 6 per cent. However, a review of the demand forecast is currently on; it is expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year, said Al Kiyumi.
The new forecast will decide the capacities and additional requirements.
Earlier, a report released by OPWP had said Oman’s power demand for the next seven years in the main inter-connected system (MIS) will rise to 9,529 MW in 2022 as against 5,565 MW in 2015.
A report released by Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation (Apicorp) says if the country has to meet the increasing demand, the power generation capacity should grow at an annual rate of 9.9 per cent in the next five years.
This will require a total investment of $11 billion, said the report titled ‘MENA Power Investment: Finance and Reform Challenges Persist’.

KABEER YOUSUF