MUSCAT - Around a dozen high-profile projects distributed across the Industrial, Oil & Gas, Mining, Power and Crypto-Mining sectors will be progressively connected to the national grid over the next three years, according to Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC), the operator of the country’s transmission systems. These projects are associate with a power demand aggregating over 1600 MW when operating at full capacity.

The most significant of these projects with the largest power demand is United Solar Polysilicon, a strategically important project currently in the early stages of construction in Sohar Freezone. Total investment in the project, which will produce silicon feedstock for the production of solar panels, semiconductors and modules, is around $1.35 billion.

“It’s worth noting that United Solar Polysilicon will be the largest demand connected to the network with maximum demand of 800MW. The customer will be connected to the OETC network to Sohar Freezone 400kV grid station. The expected connection date will be 2025,” said OETC in its Annual Transmission Capability Statement (2024 – 2028).

Other major projects slated to be connected to the grid include: Mawarid Mining’s copper mining project at Al Ghuzayn in the Wilayat of Al Khabourah (with total capacity of 15 MW); Sohar Titanium’s integrated titanium dioxide plant in Sohar Freezone (total installed capacity of 77 MW); United Projects Achievements’ cloud data center in Sohar Freezone (with total installed capacity of 100 MW), Sanvira Carbon’s calcined petcoke project in Sohar Freezone (with captive generation capacity of 24 MW); and Oman Cement’s expansion (with total installed capacity of 80 MW).

Elsewhere around Oman, OETC has lined up several other prestigious ventures for grid connection. The list includes the Ghubrah III Independent Water Proejct (IWP) currently under construction in Muscat Governorate (with installed capacity of 50.8 MW); Green Data City crypto-mining project in Salalah (with installed capacity of 200 MW), Star Ferro Alloys smelter in Sohar Freezone (with installed capacity of 18 MW), Duqm Cement Factory (installed capacity of 29.95 MW), Exahertz crypto-mining project in Salalah Free Zone (with installed capacity of 100 MW), and Oxy Oman facilities for Wadi Latham (100 MW), Khamila (20 MV), and Safah (65 MW).

Upon their operationalisation, electricity demand is expected to witness a significant surge, with much of this increase expected to be met by Oman’s rapidly expanding renewable capacity.

According to OETC, gross peak electricity demand in the Main Interconnected System (MIS) climbed to 7,303 MW in 2023, which was up 7.4% from the previous year’s peak. In the Dhofar System, gross peak demand top 672 MW in 2023, entailing an increase of 4.7% over the previous year’s peak. In the Musandam System, gross peak demand was 85.6 MW, representing an increase of 6.7% from the 2022 peak demand.

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