MUSCAT: Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC), the operator of the nation’s power transmission grid, has launched a competitive tender for the installation of a subsea power cable that will provide cost-competitive electricity from the national grid to Masirah Island off the country’s eastern seaboard.
Announcing the launch, OETC – part of Nama Group - underlined the significance of the project for its ongoing efforts to modernize its transmission infrastructure.
“This is one of the first-in-kind projects in the Sultanate of Oman and will contribute to meet the demand growth, improve system resiliency, eliminating diesel resource and hence meeting the net zero target and cost reduction,” the company stated in a post.
The cable – spanning a total distance of 33 kilometres under the Masirah Channel – is proposed to extend from a 132 kV overhead transmission running 60 kilometres from Mahout on the mainland all the way to the coast.
When operational by around late 2026, the project will help end Masirah Island’s longstanding dependence of diesel-powered electricity generation and enable supplies from a national grid that is being increasingly served by solar and wind-based power generation.
A network of diesel-powered plants operated by the Rural Areas Electricity Company (Tanweer) – part of Nama Group – currently meets the island’s energy needs.
But with parts of the island designated for significant infrastructure, commercial, economic, fisheries and tourism development, electricity demand growth is anticipated to climb sharply in the coming years.
It is expected that international companies will be the principal contenders for the subsea power cable contract, given the overall novelty of this initiative in the Sultanate of Oman.
Under a separate tender, also floated on Wednesday, OETC invited bids for a construction of a 132/33kV grid station on Masirah Island which, upon the installation of the undersea cable, will be connected with a similar grid station on the mainland at Mahout.
Significantly, Masirah’s planned connectivity with the main grid has been made possible by OETC’s flagship Rabt project – an estimated $1 billion initiative to link the standalone grids of north Oman with Dhofar.
Currently being undertaken in two phases, the 400 kV interconnection enables the transmission system to veer eastwards towards Masirah and Duqm as its travels south to connect with the Dhofar system.
Final submissions for the two contracts are due in by October 31.
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