MUSCAT: The Centralized Utilities Company (Marafiq), a company owned by OQ [a subsidiary of Oman Investment Authority (OIA)], has announced a ramp-up of electricity output in the Duqm Special Economic Zone (SEZAD) following the launch of its gas-powered power plant in Duqm. This plant has been developed in cooperation with the Rural Areas Electricity Company (Tanweer).
Eng Abdullah al Farsi, Director General of Operation and Maintenance at Marafiq, noted the new gas-powered plant started operation in 2021 in place of an existing diesel-powered plant. “The production volume of the new plant reached around 212 gigawatt-hours in the first 10 months of last year,” he explained.
Al Farsi pointed out, “Establishing the new gas-powered plant in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm reflects the joint efforts of Marafiq and Tanweer to meet the increasing demand for electricity in the Zone, which is witnessing rapid population and development growth.” The gas-powered plant consists of four mobile gas turbines with a production capacity of 80 megawatts, which is sufficient to meet Tanweer’s power requirement to cover the needs of the Special Economic Zone at Duqm over the next five years. Commenting on the economic benefit of the new plant, he added that the plant would reduce the cost of power production and ease the government subsidy burden on power supplied within the SEZ.
Moreover, Al Farsi remarked that using natural gas instead of diesel in power production contributes to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and limiting environmental pollution. The gas-powered plant aims to reduce the annual CO2 emissions to 90,000 tonnes, which is equivalent to the emissions of about 20,000 cars.
“Marafiq Company is tirelessly working to support the economic and urban development in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm. In this regard, the Company carried out last year, the soft commissioning of the Integrated Power and Water Plant that supplies power and water to Duqm Refinery (OQ8) and Oman Tank Terminal Company (OTTCO). In addition, the Company, through its potable water production plant, provided 9,000 cubic meters of potable water per day for residential and commercial purposes”, Eng. Abdullah Al Farsi affirmed. Marafiq enjoys a competitive advantage by owning a share of the gas, as part of a long-term contract with OQ Gas Company. Furthermore, it has the technical know-how in the field of operation and maintenance, thanks to its strategic partnerships with international companies in the power sector.