Oman focus on renewable energy

01 April 2015

A 300 KW solar power plant, Oman’s first commercial renewable power project, is set to become operational in Q2, news reports say.

The plant, located at Al Mazyunah in the southern province of Dhofar, has been executed by US-based Astonfield and local firm Multitech and will be the first commercial venture of its kind to be linked to the electricity network. 

The technology used in the project includes PV thin films and polycrystalline system. The plant area is spread over 8,000 sq m, it said.

The project was devise as part of efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels for power generation. Oman’s target is to have 25 per cent of its energy needs met by renewable sources.

While the Al Mazyyunah project is nearing completion, another renewable energy plant expects to start work in June in the same province but in Harweel.

The 50-megawatt wind-based power plant in Dhofar will be completed by the end of next year. A first in the country for a wind-based energy project, it is estimated to cost $200 million with implementation by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar).

Meanwhile, the Rural Areas Electricity Company (Raeco) will invest RO153 million ($395.7 million) during the 2015-17 period to increase power generation capacity and improve the transmission and distribution network, its chief executive officer Hamad Bin Salim Al Maghdari has said.

Eight diesel power plants were identified for conversion to gas-fired plants provided gas is available, he added.

The coming three years will see more demand from sectors like industry, trade and tourism, which will mark a switch in demand pattern, as about 48 per cent of their demand came from residential consumption.

“The economy is booming and without electricity we cannot run hotels and industries and there can be no tourism,” Al Maghdari said.

Raeco currently has capacity for 282 MW of electricity and 2.2 MIGD of desalinated water and has over 25,000 customers in rural areas, it added.

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