Muscat – Oman is working on setting up its first-ever photovoltaic cell factory with an investment of US$700mn. Chinese photovoltaic cell maker Hainan Drinda New Energy Technology announced recently that it is planning to build a factory for the production of up to 10GW of TOPCon solar photovoltaic (PV) cells annually in Oman. The project will expedite the sultanate’s goal to become a major green hydrogen producer.

Earlier engaged in car interiors, Drinda entered the solar energy sector two years ago and inked a project investment intention deal with Oman Investment Authority last month. The Haikou-based firm plans to build the plant in two phases, each with a scheduled annual capacity of 5GW of N-type TOPCon cells. 

The project will help Drinda speed up its overseas production layout to meet international customers’ demand and enhance its products’ global market influence, the company stated. 

Oman has committed to net zero emissions by 2050 and the government is looking to expand its electricity-generation capacity through renewable power projects, with plans to derive at least 30% of electricity from renewables by 2030, mainly through onshore wind and solar projects.

The net zero target depends on the use of renewable energy as a primary energy source, the use of carbon capture for decarb-onisation, and production of large quantities of low-carbon hydrogen to drive exports and growth in the low-carbon industry.

Oman seeks to instal 40mn solar panels and import close to 6,000 wind turbines over the next few years to more than double the country’s existing power capacity as part of plans to produce more than 1mn mt/year of green hydrogen by 2030.

Drinda ranked fourth worldwide in solar cell shipments with 29.96GW last year and first in N-type high-efficiency cell shipments with 20.58GW, according to its annual earnings report. 

Last year, Drinda became the worldʼs first specialised solar cell manufacturer to mass produce N-type TOPCon cells, considered one of the top cell technologies with high bifaciality. This novel feature allows for additional energy to be generated from the reverse side of the module.

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