A key component of the $1 billion North-South Interconnector Project (Rabt) designed to create a unified national electricity grid in the Sultanate of Oman, has been completed, Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC) announced here on Wednesday.

Majority state-owned OETC – part of Nama Group – said the Barik Grid Station project, built with an investment of around $116 million (approx. RO 45 million), has been successfully connected to the mammoth Rabt project, which aims to link the Main Interconnection System (MIS) of north Oman, with the isolated Dhofar System in the south.

“This project will connect the electricity network of Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) with the main grid, and is one of the projects of the strategic national project ‘Rabt’,” OETC said in a post. “The project aims to meet the transmission security standard and load growth in the area, fulfil demand growth and ensure stable and reliable electricity supply to the region.”

As part of the Barik grid station project, contractors also constructed around 194km of 400kV overhead lines extending all the way to Nihada Grid Station.

Significantly, the Barik project station is one of five 400 kV grid stations built at intervals along the roughly 660km route of the interconnector system linking the MIS with the isolated networks of PDO and the Rural Areas Electricity Company (Tanweer) in Duqm. Together with overhead lines strung along this route, they constitute Phase 1 of the massive Rabt interconnector project – currently OETC’s largest investment.

Construction work of Phase 1, envisaging a total cost RO 183 million, is due for completion in the third quarter of this year, paving the way for the launch of Phase 2 of the project. In the latter phase, the interconnector will travel southwards a further distance of about 502km from Duqm all the way to Thamrait, where it will link up with the Dhofar System. Total investment in Phase 2 is about $490 million (approx. RO 190 million).

When fully operational by 2025, the Rabt Interconnector Project will create a unified national grid supplying cost-competitively generated electricity to the vast proportion of consumers. It will also do away with diesel-powered generation in most parts of the country and enable the incorporation of solar and wind-based generation.

The State Grid Corporation of China (SGID), among the largest public utilities in the world, is a key shareholder in OETC with a 49 per cent stake. Nama Holding – part of Oman Investment Authority (OIA) - holds the remaining 51 per cent stake in the company.

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