Large swathes of desert land in Oman’s central and southern regions have been earmarked for the implementation of green energy projects – both renewables and green hydrogen based – a top official of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MoCIIP) has revealed.

Asila al Samsamiya , Under-Secretary for Investment Promotion at the Ministry, said the Sultanate of Oman is gearing up to be an important producer and exporter of green energy by capitalizing on its optimally suited natural resources, as well as its attractive geostrategic location.

Key among these resources, she said, is plentiful land offering ideal environmental conditions for renewable energy generation. “Oman has a huge potential to be a leading country in both solar and wind. And it has an abundance of land available that is ideal for these projects. In fact, we have up to 50 square kilometres available, which is equivalent to 87 times the size of London,” the Under-Secretary told a gathering of dignitaries and investors at an energy forum held in the UK recently.

Earlier, Asila described Oman as “a preferred leading destination and inspiring model globally towards a green and clean energy future”. To this end, the Ministry, among other stakeholder agencies within the Omani government, is doing the groundwork to position Oman as a key player in this field, she noted.

“The Oman National Energy Strategy and the 2040 Vision seek to address climate change by supporting the gradual transition to a low carbon economy and energy matrix,” said the Under-Secretary, pointing out that a “massive number of a large renewable projects and initiatives” are planned for deployment with the goal of supporting the growth of a low carbon economy.

Significantly, a “central national team” has been constituted to unify planning around renewables and green hydrogen projects, said the Under-Secretary. The goal is to “define a clear strategic path for projects and setting planning controls for project distribution in order to achieve the best utilization of natural resources, as well as to empower the sector and develop the infrastructure requirements,” she said.

Alongside solar resources, wind energy is also been harnessed to support Oman’s green energy aspirations, said Al Samsamiya. She cited in this regard the successful launch of the Gulf region’s first commercial-scale wind farm at Harweel in Dhofar Governorate.

“This wind farm has a generation capacity of 50 megawatts with 13 wind turbines and already generates 7 per cent of Dhofar electricity needs. At least five more major wind projects are planned for procurement during the 2021 – 2027 timeframe,” she stated.

Further underpinning Oman’s strong value proposition as a green energy hub is the country’s modern transport infrastructure and advantageous geographical location, said Asila.

“Our location offers great competitive advantage as we are optimally suited to support shipments of local green fuels to markets in Asia, Middle East and Europe,” said the Under-Secretary.

“Our roads are regarded as amongst the best in the world - perfect for meeting distribution needs across the Gulf. And additionally, sailing times from our ports are on an average 30 to 40 per cent lower than from competing locations. That is 15 days to New York, 12 to the UK and five to Singapore. Besides, we have created a business friendly environment with a range of incentives available for investors in green energy projects and as well with other sectors that is on our focus for 2040,” she added.

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