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Oman targets 1 GW of new wind energy projects by 2030

MUSCAT: The Sultanate of Oman has lined up for implementation a flurry of wind-based Independent Power Projects (IPPs), offering an aggregate of over 1 gigawatt (GW) of capacity, by 2030.

Together with a raft of new solar-based IPPs, and a first-of-its-kind Waste-to-Energy project envisioned at Barka, these new ventures will enable the power sector to meet its goal of securing around 30 per cent of the country’s electricity requirements from renewable sources by 2030.

According to Abdullah Rashid al Sawafi, Chief Operating Officer of the Oman Power and Water Procurement Co (OPWP), the sole buyer of electricity and water output, as many as six new wind farms are planned for procurement over the next seven years through to 2030.

First in the series is a 100 MW scheme planned at Jaalan Bani Bu Ali in South Al Sharqiya Governorate, Al Sawafi said. “Our target is to have this project up and running and contribute to our system by Q4 2026, with a Request for Qualification (RfQ) planned for release in early April this year.”

Speaking at a forum held in the city recently, he said the pipeline of wind farm projects also envisions the development of a 200 MW capacity scheme in Duqm (Al Wusta Governorate). An RfQ for this IPP is slated to be issued in Q2 / Q3 2023, with the project set to be brought online in Q4 2026.

In Dhofar Governorate, OPWP has lined up a second wind-based IPP for procurement next to Oman’s maiden wind farm, currently under operation at Fitkhit near Harweel. To be called Dhofar II Wind IPP, this new project will be sized at around 100 MW and brought into operation by 2026. An RfQ for interested developers is planned to be issued in Q2/Q3 this year.

Also in the pipeline are plans for a wind farm at Ras Madrakah (Al Wusta Governorate) with a capacity of 100 MW and due for commercial operation in 2027. A similar-sized project will also launched at Sadah in Dhofar Governorate in 2028. Rounding off the list are a number of additional wind farms of an aggregate capacity of 400 MW for development at unspecified locations around Oman.

Side by side with wind farm development, OPWP also plans to procure a handful of solar-based schemes over the next several years. Thus, in addition to a 1000 MW solar scheme (Manah I Solar IPP and Manah II Solar IPP) which was awarded recently to two separate developers each with a 500 MW share, the list includes plans for a new 500 MW capacity solar project (Ibri III Solar IPP) to be constructed adjoining the existing Ibri II Solar IPP in Al Dhahirah Governorate. Another 500 MW solar scheme is also slated for development within the Main Interconnected System (MIS) by 2027. Finally, one or more solar based projects of a total capacity of 1000 MW are proposed to be developed and launched by 2029, according to OPWP.

Also in the works is a long-pending Waste-to-Energy project of around 140 MW that will be developed in partnership with Oman Environmental Services Holding Co (be’ah), the official added.

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