MUSCAT, JUNE 2 – Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), the sole procurer of new power and water capacity, is preparing to commission a study designed to weigh the feasibility of establishing the Sultanate’s first Waste-to-Energy project. The proposed 50 MW capacity project is expected to come up in Barka in South Al Batinah Governorate, primarily because of the comprehensive collection system put in place for municipal waste in that area. While the feasibility study will examine the technical and financial aspects of the landmark venture, it will only go ahead subject to the government’s final thumbs-up, according to a high level official of OPWP, a member of Nama Group (formerly the Electricity Holding Company).
Brian Wood — Planning & Economics Director, said a decision from the government on whether or not to proceed with the project is anticipated around October this year. “Towards the end of the year, we may have a Request for Qualifications (RfQ) process for the first Waste-to-Energy plant,” he added in a presentation at a forum held in the city recently. The proposed Waste to Energy project is part of a large portfolio of power generation schemes outlined for implementation by OPWP over the coming years based on renewable and alternative energy resources.
It includes three new utility-scale solar PV projects planned for implementation in Ibri, Manah and Adam — which have been identified as the most ideal for solar-based schemes. In addition, three new wind-based power developments are planned for procurement and implementation as Independent Power Projects (IPP) over the 2018-2024 timeframe. The new projects, along with the Ibri II Solar IPP and Dhofar Wind Farm, currently under procurement and implementation, will add up to a total of 2,650 MW of renewables based capacity that will be operational by 2024.
Also as part of its fuel diversification strategy, OPWP is pressing ahead — subject to final approval by the regulator — with plans for the development of the nation’s first Independent Power Project based on clean coal technology.
Significantly, municipal waste as feedstock for the proposed WTE project in Barka will be sourced from be’ah, the Sultanate’s solid waste management utility. Plans drawn up by be’ah envisage the use of an estimated 3,100 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW), collected from key points around the country, to produce refuse derived fuel (RDF), which can then be used as a fuel resource to convert water into steam. RDF is processed from high-calorific components of municipal solid waste.