Oman revives Duqm concentrated solar power plan

12 April 2023

State offtaker Oman Power & Water Procurement Company (OPWP) has revived a plan to develop a concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in Duqm, its latest Seven-Year Statement for 2022-28 shows.

OPWP said it aims to prepare a feasibility study for the CSP plant and start the procurement process for a utility-scale solar power plant, three wind power generation plants and a waste-to-energy facility soon.

The planned CSP project in Duqm, first announced in 2019, will have a thermal storage component. 

Three of the planned projects will cater to the sultanate’s Main Interconnected System (MIS), while two will cater to the Duqm power system and one to the Dhofar power system.

All of the projects will be implemented using an independent power producer (IPP) model. 

OPWP aims for two of these projects – the 500MW Ibri 3 and 100MW Sharqiyah wind IPP – to be operational by 2025. The Duqm wind IPP is due for completion the following year.

A longer timeline has been allocated for developing the waste-to-energy facility and the Duqm CSP project.

According to OPWP, the third wind IPP project, to be located in Dhofar, will have a capacity of around 100MW and will be located adjacent to the existing wind project in Harweel.

OPWP is in the process of tendering the advisory and consultancy packages for the 500MW Ibri 3 solar IPP project and the planned wind IPP projects.

OPWP expects peak demand in its MIS to grow at about 3 per cent annually from 6,473MW in 2021 to 8,110MW in 2028.

In the Dhofar power system, peak demand is expected to grow at 5 per cent annually, from 537MW in 2021 to 739MW in 2028. 

Based on the 2040 vision, renewables are targeted to reach 35 to 39 per cent of total generation by 2040, OPWP said.

“A key objective of this target is to release domestic gas committed to the power sector, to be available to stimulate industrial and economic development. OPWP has embraced this target and expects to reach 24 per cent renewable energy generation, within the sector, by 2028,” it added.

Manah 1 and 2 IPPs

On 23 March, OPWP signed the power-purchase agreements (PPA) for the Manah 1 and 2 solar IPP projects.

The two 500MW solar plants are expected to be operational by 2025 and will be backed by the 20-year PPA with OPWP.

A team comprising France’s EDF and South Korea’s Korea Western Power Company (Kowepo) won the contract to develop the Manah 1 solar photovoltaic (PV) IPP project.

A team of Singapore’s Sembcorp Industries (Sembcorp) and China-headquartered Jinko Power Technology was awarded the second 500MW solar PV IPP contract.

Renewable energy, mainly solar power, accounted for 5 per cent of the sultanate’s total installed power generation capacity as of 2022.

The sultanate initially stated that it aims to derive 30 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

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Jennifer Aguinaldo
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