Powered by GE’s four TM2500 aeroderivative gas turbines to provide up to 80 megawatts (MW) of power, Oman’s Special Economic Zone at Duqm (Sezad) has emerged one of the Middle East and North Africa’s largest economic zones.

GE built the plant for the Centralised Utilities Company, Marafiq, which will sell the electricity to the Rural Areas Electricity Company, Tanweer, which provides power to regional users, including Sezad.

Located on modern maritime sea routes linking Asia, Africa, Europe, and beyond, the economic zone is quickly adding new tenants, new industrial projects, and an expanding list of manufacturing operations.

Fast-power project

“With development moving quickly at Sezad and connection to the grid several years away, the speed with which GE delivered this fast-power project was critical to our ability to serve Sezad and ensure they continued to have access to the electricity required to facilitate their ongoing expansion and growth,” said Victor Ogg, General Manager of Project Development and Delivery for Marafiq.

In less than 200 days, GE started exporting power, helping Marafiq, Tanweer, and Sezad transition to a lower-emission power source quickly and smoothly.

“Working with Marafiq and Tanweer, GE transported the four TM2500 gas turbines to Duqm, set up the 80 MW mobile power plant, and connected it to Tanweer’s island grid in a rapid timeframe, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and related logistics constraints,” said Ahmad Elsayed, Senior Project Manager, GE Gas Power.

Positive impact

Nearly as important as the speed with which the plant was installed, was the significantly positive impact on the environment. By replacing the diesel generators with cleaner-burning natural gas turbines, the facility is dramatically cutting carbon dioxide emissions by up to 90,000 tonnes per year. That is equivalent to taking up to 20,000 vehicles off Omani roads.

Idrees Sheikh, Project Management Director for Europe and the Middle East with GE Gas Power, added: “By supporting Marafiq in switching from diesel or other liquid-fueled power generation to gas, GE is helping to generate more sustainable electricity, while delivering reliable, flexible, and affordable power supply that is crucial to the successful expansion of the economic zone.”

The plant will be operated for a minimum of three years, until the area is connected to the main 400 kilovolts (kV) grid.

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