The GCC’s first utility-scale wind power project currently making headway in its construction at Fitkhit in the Wilayat of Shaleem and Halaniyat Islands, will meet at least 7 per cent of Dhofar Governorate’s total power demand when it comes into operation in the third quarter of this year.
Four of the 13 wind turbines that together make up the 50 MW capacity wind farm have been installed, with the balance nine due to be completed by the end of next month. The entire support infrastructure is already in place, according to project officials.
The update came during a high-level visit to the project site by top officials representing all of the key players involved in the development, construction and delivery of the landmark project.
Participating in the field tour, which took place late last week, were senior executives representing Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) — part of Nama Group and the main offtaker of the project’s electricity output; the Oman Rural Areas Electricity Company (Tanweer) — also a member of Nama Group and the operator of the project upon its completion; the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), the developer of the project; GE Renewable Energy, the supplier of the wind turbines; and contractors Gopa-intec (Project Management Consultant), TSK and Welayat Shaleem.
Funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the project is the first of a slew of renewable energy based energy schemes planned for implementation over the next several years designed to secure a minimum 10 per cent share of Oman’s total energy needs from sustainable energy sources within the next five years.
The wind farm is being implemented by Masdar on behalf of ADFD through an Engineering-Procurement-Construction (EPC) consortium comprising GE Renewable Energy and Spanish renewables contractor TSK.
In a statement, Eng Yaqoob al Kiyumi, CEO of OPWP — the offtaker of the project’s energy out, said the nation’s maiden wind farm will serve to inspire the roll-out of new wind-based energy schemes in the Sultanate. “Oman is very rich in renewable energy resources and OPWP is
determined to exploit the learnings from this project, and its previous IPP experience, to expedite energy generation from such resources,” he said.
Eng Saleh al Rumhi, CEO of Tanweer, said the company will own the assets and will also be responsible for operating the site and dispatching the energy to the Oman grid. Additionally, the company is making headway in the implementation of other renewable initiatives, including adding photovoltaic capacity at 11 of the company’s existing power plants, he added.
Mohamed Jameel al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, lauded the Sultanate’s resolute embrace of renewables in meeting domestic energy demand growth. “Oman’s bold decision to invest in utility-scale wind energy will give further encouragement to other countries in the region seeking to expand the role of renewable energy in diversifying their power mix, and strengthen the reputation of renewables as a reliable provider of cost-effective clean power. Furthermore, it will underscore the positive socio-economic impacts that come with clean energy, including job creation, technology transfer and skills development fostering sustainable growth in the wider economy.”
Significantly, Masdar is also developing a solar-powered water treatment plant in nearby Fitkhit, as well as a children’s playground. The initiatives are expected to be ready by September.
Also taking part in the last week’s field visit were Hamdan Ali al Hinai, Chairman of the OPWP, Eng Omar al Wahaibi, CEO of Nama Holding, and Dr Manar al Moneef, General Manager — GE Renewable Energy (MENA & Turkey).