Oman's biggest Independent Power Project (IPP), boasting a mammoth 3,000 megawatts of electricity generation capacity, could cost as much as $2.4 billion, according to a key official of the state-run Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP).
The giant greenfield scheme, which will significantly ramp up generation capacity within the Main Interconnected System (MIS) serving much of the northern half of the Sultanate, is proposed to be implemented during the 2017-2018 timeframe, according to Hilal al Abdali, Client and Contracts & Interface Manager – OPWP.
"This 3,000 MW project is a very big power plant that will be developed within the MIS. It is likely to be located either in one location or in two locations. We expect 1,000 MW of this capacity to be ready by 2017, and the (balance) 2,000 MW by 2018. The expected cost, we think, is around $2.4 billion," Al Abdali told delegates at a recent forum held in the city.
OPWP , a wholly owned subsidiary of the Electricity Holding Company (EHC), is the sole procurer of all new electricity generation and related water desalination capacity in the Sultanate under the sector law.
The proposed mega-power project is the most significant of a substantial portfolio of at least eight new power generation and water desalination plants that are under various stages of development across the Sultanate, according to the official. They include a mix of greenfield and brownfield developments, he said.
In Musandam Governorate, the government has plans to develop the region's first gas-based power plant of an initial generation capacity of around 100 MW. The project, estimated to cost $200 million, is still under development, with efforts currently focused on securing a suitable site and fuel for the venture, Al Abdali said.
In Dhofar Governorate, OPWP is overseeing the procurement of a new mid-sized IPP of around 300 — 400 MW capacity. In conjunction with the procurement of this scheme, the existing power plant of Dhofar Power Company will be privatised. The Commercial Operation Date (COD) for the new IPP is slated for January 2018.
Other projects under development or in the pipeline mainly pertain to the water desalination sector. The new Ghubrah Independent Water Project (IWP), a 42 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) scheme under construction in Muscat, is due for completion by November 2014. Total investment in the project is around $280 million, Al Abdali said.
Commercial operation of a brownfield 10 MIGD addition to the existing Barka-1 plant is imminent, according to the official. The upgrade, which cost around $55 million, will boost the overall capacity of the two side-by-side plants to 30 MIGD. Similar brownfield expansions of desalination plants at Sur and Barka-2 are on the cards too.
At Qurayat, OPWP has plans to develop a water-only scheme, with around 20 MIGD of capacity due to be brought into operation by April 2015, followed by another 24 MIGD by July 2016. "This project is under development, and we are working to secure the land and power supply," Al Abdali said.
Suwaiq too will host a similar 44 MIGD capacity IWP with commercial operation set for November 2017.
Oman Daily Observer