13/09/2017 09:32 AST

The Rural Areas Electricity Company (RAEC), part of The Electricity Holding Company (Nama Group), yesterday inked a pair of agreements linked to the development of the Dhofar Wind Power Project — the first utility scale wind-based renewable project in the GCC.

The first was a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) by RAEC with Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), while the second was a Power Connection Agreement with Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC). Both OPWP and OETC are member companies of Nama Group.

Signing on behalf of RAEC was Eng Saleh bin Nasser al Rumhi, CEO, while OPWP was represented by its CEO, Eng Yaqoob al Kiyumi. Eng Masood al Riyami, Chief Operating Officer, signed on behalf of Oman Electricity Transmission Company.

The pacts come on the heels of the award of the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for the execution of the project by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), which is developing the Dhofar Wind Power Project in partnership with RAEC. The 50 MW Wind Energy Project will be based in the Fetkhit area of Wilayat of Shaleem and Halaniyat Islands in the Governorate of Dhofar.

Speaking at the event, Eng Saleh bin Nasser al Rumhi, CEO of RAEC, said the project ushers in a new era of renewables-based commercial-scale electricity generation in the Sultanate. Studies undertaken by various agencies have validated the potential for solar and wind based power generation, he noted.

Emphasising the importance of a diversified resource base for power generation in the Sultanate, Eng Al Rumhi stated: “Electricity demand continues to grow exponentially, fuelled by the development process, socioeconomic growth and the government’s diversification strategy. Electricity supply soared to 30.4 terawatt hours in 2016, up over five per cent from the previous year’s tally, but 220 per cent higher than in 2005, when the sector was restructured.”

The latest agreements, Eng Al Rumhi said, mark the culmination of RAEC’s dream to bring this prestigious project to fruition. The journey began in 2014 when the Project Development Agreement was signed with Masdar, which recently assigned the EPC contract to an international consortium comprising General Electric and TSK.

A total of 13 wind turbines will be installed on a 1,900 hectare site, offering a total generation capacity of 160 gigawatt-hours/year of clean energy.

This would save an estimated 110,000 tons of greenhouse gases per year if the same amount of electricity were generated using convention natural gas as fuel.

Acknowledged as a pioneer in clean energy generation, RAEC launched a solar project at Al Mazyona in Dhofar Governorate in 2015. The 307 kW capacity plant has so far contributed to savings of 155,000 litres of diesel and 433 tons of greenhouse gases.

Eng Khalil al Mandhri, Head of the Renewable Energy Section at Rural Areas Electricity Company, also made a presentation on the Dhofar Wind Farm project.

Oman Observer

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