15 October 2015
A ceremony will be held today for laying the foundation-stone for the RO 240 million worth Salalah II Independent Power Plant, the second stage for power generation in Raysut area in Salalah. The ceremony will be presided over by Sayyid Mohammed bin Sultan al Busaidy, Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar. The production capacity of the plant is 445 MW by using high efficient turbine gases. Last May, Oman Power and Water Purchase Company (PWPC) signed an agreement to set up the second stage of an independent plant. The new plant will be connected to the power network in Dhofar Governorate.
As per the agreement, Oman PWPC will purchase the power generated from the plant for 15 years. As per the plan, the commercial operation of the plant will start during the first quarter of 2018. The production capacity of the new plant will help in meeting the growing demand for electricity due to industrial, construction and tourism growth witnessed by Dhofar Governorate. It is worth mention that Dhofar Power Company is a closed joint stock company owned by Mitsui & Co Ltd of Japan, ACWA Power of Saudi Arabia and Dhofar International Development and Investment Holding Company.
As per the reports Oman's power consumption is increasing steadily and the average rise is estimated to be anything around 8 to 9 per cent per year, thanks to the increasing population and enhanced industrial activities in the country. Studies conducted by NGOs in this regard also show that for the main interconnected system (including the electricity production facilities at Ghubrah, Rusail, Manah, Wadi al Jizzi, Barka Phase I, Al Kamil, Sohar and Barka Phase II), the annual forecast is nearly 10 per cent in electricity production with the demand outlook for Salalah increasing at around 12 per cent per annum.
The forecast of 7 to 8 per cent annual growth in electricity consumption as per capita consumption is rising every year. Majority of the villages and mountainous terrains, up to 95 per cent, are covered with electricity network and still efforts are on to expand the network. The electricity sector has, in the recent years, continued its projects and introduced new investments to meet the anticipated annual increase in power consumption due to industrial and construction boom. The annual growth in electricity consumption has always been on a steadily increasing pattern, owing to growing demand from residential, industrial and commercial sectors.
Prior to 1970 the overall electricity generation capacity was barely 2 megawatt, but now it has jumped significantly to exceed 5,200 megawatt covering all the governorates through the electricity generation plants mainly powered by steam and natural gas, while the use of fuel for electricity generation is on its way to be jettisoned in the near future. As per the sustainable development plan and the electricity sector strategy it has been decided to pump around RO 1 billion for the construction of new electricity generation plants throughout the strategy until 2030. Moreover, currently the work is under way for the implementation of one of the biggest electricity generation projects from renewable energy resources in partnership with Qatar in Dhofar Governorate.
© Oman Daily Observer 2015