By: Gulam Ali Khan

MUSCAT: A request for proposal (RfP) tender for Oman’s single largest power generation project, which in terms of capacity could reach 3,200MW, is expected to be floated this month, according to CEO of Oman Power and Water Procurement Co (OPWP).

“Two sites, one in Ibri and another in Sohar, within the Main Interconnected System (MIS) region have been finalised for this major project. The project will be spread over two sites but only one tender will be floated for both,” Eng Ahmed al Jahdhami said in an exclusive interview with Muscat Daily.

“The aggregate power generation capacity of these two combined facilities is currently under review and could go up to 3,200MW,” he said. The pre-qualification process of bidders for the project was started last year and is expected to conclude soon.

Jahdhami said the tender will be floated in February and the contract is expected to be awarded in October.

“Ibri will have an early power requirement, by 2018, with commercial operations at both sites planned to commence in 2019. The project will add to MIS capacity and enable us to meet demand until 2021,” he added.

According to OPWP’s latest seven-year statement, within the MIS region, peak demand is expected to grow at about 11 per cent per year, from 4,455MW in 2013 to 9,133MW in 2020. Average demand is expected to grow from 2,592MW in 2013 to 5,023MW in 2020, an average increase of around ten per cent per year.

On the tender award for the Salalah Independent Power Project (IPP), Jahdhami said that OPWP expects to shortly conclude the tender evaluations and sign an agreement in early March, if not by end of February.

Salalah IPP’s capacity will be between 300MW-400MW and the project is planned to be completed in 2018. In Salalah, peak demand is expected to grow at ten per cent per year, from 420MW in 2013 to 800MW in 2020.

Jahdhami said Oman formally entered into an agreement in December 2014 to be a full member of the GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA), with technical and operational agreements signed by OPWP and Oman Electricity Transmission Co (OETC) at GCCIA.

GCCIA was established in 2001 for the purpose of interlinking the power systems of GCC countries.

He said, “We are looking to maximise benefits through electricity trading. There have been serious discussions in this regard within GCC. It could be a two-way cooperation with GCCIA. Oman can import electricity during peak demand in summer and we can export when we have excess supply.”

SOURCE: Muscat Daily