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Deal boost for clean energy

 Staff Reporter

MUSCAT

The Sultanate’s quest for clean energy got a boost on Tuesday with Rural Areas Electricity Company (Raeco) signing power purchase and electricity connection agreements with two local companies.

The deals will put the 50MW Dhofar Wind Power Project on fast track. Raeco signed the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWPC) and the Power Connection Agreement was signed with Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC).

The agreements were signed by Raeco CEO Eng. Saleh Bin Nasser Al Rumhi, OPWPC CEO Eng. Yaqoob Al Kiyumi and Eng. Masood Al Riyami COO of OETC.

Al Rumhi said the $105 million project marks a significant leap in the quest of clean energy in the Sultanate and would become operational by the end of 2019. The project will have 13 wind turbines and is located in Ftekhit area at Wilayat of Shalem and Halaniyat Islands in Dhofar, and is a result of an earlier agreement between Raeco and Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar).

Masdar has awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) work for the project to a consortium of international companies including General Electric and TSK. When operational it would supply electricity to 16,000 homes and offset 110,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Its capacity would be 160 Gwh/year.

The project would be built on a 1,900 hectare site and Al Rumhi said that based on performance and technological advancements, expansion could be considered up to 100 MW capacity.

Al Rumhi said jobs would be created at the EPC and operational phases and engineers with knowledge of renewable energy technology operations and maintenance would be in demand. There will be an effort to build capacity among Omanis to serve in the renewable energy sector, he added.

Al Rumhi said GE, the maker of the turbines and TSK may get contracts for special maintenance and operations.

He said demand for electricity had grown with the economy and in 2016 reached 30.4 terawatt hours, which was  5 per cent more than  the average supply in 2015 and about  220 per cent higher than in 2005, the  year in which the electricity sector  has been  restructured and reformed .

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