Manah tipped to host Oman’s second solar IPP

The Wilayat of Manah in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate is tipped to host Oman’s second utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) based Independent Power Project (IPP), according to an official of Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), the sole procurer of new electricity generation capacity under the Sector Law.
Naif Ali al Abri (pictured), Project Development Manager, said the groundwork on ‘Solar 2022, as the second solar power project is dubbed, has been kicked off even before the formal signing of project agreements for Oman’s maiden solar power IPP, planned for implementation in Ibri in Dhahirah Governorate.
Last month, OPWP named a consortium comprising ACWA Power (Saudi Arabia), Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Corporation and Kuwait-based Alternative Energy Projects Co as the successful winner of its licence to build the nation’s first utility-scale solar IPP at Ibri with an investment of around $400 million.
“Solar 2022 will hopefully be built in Manah,” said Naif al Abri. “We are looking at a minimum capacity of 500 MW, but it can go higher. (OPWP’s) team is currently at the stage of defining the project further.”
Speaking at the Oman Energy & Water Conference, which concluded at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) yesterday, he said an ambitious renewables-based procurement programme drawn up by the state-owned procurer — part of Nama Group — envisions the delivery of a solar power project at yearly intervals.
“By 2023, we will kick off another solar project. So there will be a solar plant commissioned almost on a yearly basis. And between OPWP, The Rural Areas Electricity Company (RAECO), and Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), there will be quite a few contributions (in the form of renewables based projects),” he said.
A sizeable portfolio of large-scale wind projects is also due to take off this year, according to the official, with the first in the series — a 200-300 MW project — slated for commissioning in 2023. Also set to come on stream in 2023 is the nation’s first ever Waste-to-Energy project — a 100MW scheme that will be developed in collaboration with be’ah, the Sultanate’s solid waste management flagship. “So it’s quite a busy plan over the five-year horizon,” he noted.