MUSCAT: OQ Group, the global integrated energy group of the Sultanate of Oman, says it has been tapped by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals to assist oil and gas companies as well as industrial zones – among the biggest domestic contributions of greenhouse gas emissions – with their decarbonisation goals by making available the supply of clean energy resources.
Wholly state-owned OQ Group – part of Oman Investment Authority (OIA) – said the commitment is part of a large portfolio of initiatives planned by the Group in support of its own decarbonisation strategy, as well as the nation’s Net Zero journey.
“OQ has been working closely with the Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM) to charter a clear pathway for decarbonization and carbon neutrality in the country, with MEM mandating OQ to help oil and gas concessions and industrial clusters in the country to decarbonize through supply of clean energy,” the Group stated in its newly published 2022 Annual Report.
A decarbonization plan approved by the Board last December sets out Net Zero roadmaps for OQ’s sizable Oman-based operational assets. “These roadmaps identify opportunities across four clear pathways; energy excellence, clean energy, low carbon molecules and negative emissions to decarbonize OQ’s existing assets and recommended actions to shift OQ’s portfolio towards greener energy,” it said.
Envisioned in the strategy is a plan for the development of opportunities to support the decarbonization of OQ’s upstream and downstream assets by harnessing renewable energy resources to supplant their current dependence on fossil fuel-based energy.
To this end, OQ also plans investments in solar projects aimed at partially decarbonizing the operation of its multibillion dollar Liwa Plastics complex in Sohar Port and its oilfield activities within its wholly-operated Block 60 in central Oman. Both initiatives are currently “under study”, according to the Group.
Last year, OQ stated that a Final Investment Decision (FID) linked to the development of a 100 MW solar power project, planned at Liwa, is anticipated in 2023. At its Bisat operations in Block 60, OQ has decided on a combination of conventional power from the electricity grid supplemented by solar PV generation. The PV component will be developed by OQ’s Alternative Unit through an asset lease agreement to OQ US, it had further noted.
However, its biggest contribution is anticipated in the emerging green hydrogen space with the Group set to play a dominant role in the development of a hydrogen-centric economy in Oman by 2040.
“OQ has several large-scale green hydrogen projects already announced with the potential to generate more than 30 GW of renewable energy in Oman,” the Group said. “We are driving over $40 bn worth of investments with partners into these projects and expect them to pass the final investment decision (FID) stage over the next decade. These projects include Hyport Duqm, H2Oman, SalalaH2, and Green Energy Oman,” it added.