Power utilities make strong gains in curtailing energy losses in 2014

The Electricity Holding Company has reported significant gains by a majority of its distribution utilities in reducing energy losses that typically cost the electricity sector millions of dollars in lost revenues annually.

  
02 July 2015
MUSCAT: The Electricity Holding Company (EHC), the umbrella body that groups all of the state-owned electricity generation, transmission and distribution companies operating in the Sultanate, has reported significant gains by a majority of its distribution utilities in reducing energy losses that typically cost the electricity sector millions of dollars in lost revenues annually.

According to a newly published report by the government-owned parent company (also known as Nama), Muscat Electricity Distribution Company (MEDC), Mazoon Electricity Company, Dhofar Power Company (DPC) and Rural Areas Electricity Company (RAECO) delivered improved performances in curtailing power distribution losses during 2014.

Distribution losses which, along with other technical and non-technical losses, typically account for a small, but notable, proportion of the nation's total electricity output that is lost due to a number of physical factors. Reducing these technical losses is an ongoing objective of the Authority for Electricity Regulation, Oman and supported by the subsidiary entities of the Electricity Holding Company.

Dhofar Power Company, which supplies the Salalah System, along with rural areas utility RAECO, brought their system loss average down to an impressive 9.9 per cent in 2014, down from 14.8 per cent a year earlier, according to the report. Of the two, DPC delivered an outstanding performance by slashing system losses to 9.1 per cent, down from the previous year's high of 14.3 per cent. RAECO was not far behind with a 9.9 per cent score in 2014, down from 14.8 per cent in 2013.

In contrast, distribution losses within the Main Interconnected System (MIS), which covers much of the northern half of the Sultanate, averaged 10.35 per cent in 2014, which was marginally higher than the previous year's average of 10.3 per cent.

In fact, energy losses have been on a downward trend across this grid over the past several years. From a high of 17.2 per cent in 2009, distribution losses declined to 14.4 per cent a year later, further falling to 12.8 per cent in 2011. Notwithstanding a small spike in 2012 to 13.8 per cent, energy losses have slumped to 10.3 per cent in 2013 and have since stabilized at this level, according to the Electricity Holding Company.

Of the three principal distribution utilities that together make up the MIS, Muscat Electricity Distribution Company (MEDC) saw its system loss whittled down to a record 8.73 per cent last year, down from 9.17 per cent in 2013.

Mazoon Electricity, which supplies the governorates of Sharqiyah North and South, Al Dakhiliyah and South Al Batinah, cut back its system losses to 10.3 per cent in 2014, down from 11.2 per cent a year earlier. However, Majan Electricity Company saw system losses spike to 14.6 per cent in 2014, up from 11.3 per cent in 2013.

Importantly, the cuts were achieved despite a robust 11 per cent rise in electricity consumption within the MIS and rural areas. Units procured by the sole off-taker, Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), for onward supply by the distribution companies within the Main Interconnected System, amounted to 22,315 gigawatt-hours (GWh) last year, up 13 per cent from the previous year's tally of 19,718 GWh. Units supplied to customers in the rural areas climbed 10.55 per cent to 3,062 GWh last year, from the previous year's level of 2,770 GWh.

© Oman Daily Observer 2015