SGRF’s Rakiza Fund to invest in renewables in Oman

Rakiza, an infrastructure-focused fund set up by the State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) — the largest sovereign wealth fund of the Sultanate of Oman — is keenly eyeing opportunities to invest in the country’s burgeoning renewable energy space.
The one-of-its-kind fund was launched by the wealth fund in 2018 to enable foreign equity investors to explore opportunities in Oman’s broader infrastructure sector. Areas of strategic investment interest include: Renewables, Oil & Gas, Social Infrastructure, Power and Water, Telecommunications, Transport & Logistics and the Environment.
“Rakiza is looking to actively invest in renewables,” said Nigel Govett (pictured), Chief Financial Officer — Rakiza Fund. “We see it as a growth opportunity, as well as an opportunity for Oman to diversify in line with the country’s 2020 and 2040 Vision strategies’’.
Govett, who also sits on SGRF’s Senior Investment Committee, had taken part in a panel discussion on ‘Energy Transformation’ hosted by the Oman French Friendship Association (OFA) on Thursday.
Later, in remarks to the Observer, the official said the Fund was studying a number of project opportunities, including one proposed in the Suhar area. “We are looking at the project economics. We want to make sure it meets investor demand and appetite, and the promise we have made to our investors. We are still at a stage where we are assessing all the project criteria. We are excited about the fact these projects are coming to market and not solely being done by the government. It’s an opportunity for us to bring in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country’’.
As part of its remit, the Rakiza Fund is also working with other investors to develop the renewable energy space in the Sultanate, said Govett. These opportunities are not limited to solar PV, but also ‘green hydrogen’, among other mega projects, he noted.
“There are plenty of opportunities, but it’s about aligning the right capital and the right project. Rakiza is looking to be a bridge between what project’s needs and the FDI capital,” he added.
A renewable energy development plan unveiled recently by the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) — the sole buyer of electricity in the Sultanate — envisions the procurement of 3,050 megawatts (MW) of renewables-based capacity by 2025, representing 16 per cent of total electricity output by this timeframe. This compares with a minimum 10 per cent share for renewables set by the Omani government by the 2025 milestone. By 2030, renewable energy projects are expected to account for roughly 30 per cent of generation capacity in the Sultanate.