04:01 pm - Friday 22 May 2015

Oman mulls 200MW solar project

By staff - Mon May 23, 12:42 pm

The government of Oman is expected to give final approval for the country’s first large-scale solar project imminently, according to the local press.

Its ministers are mulling the large investment required for the 200MW solar project as well as examining other aspects of its delivery, the Times of Oman said.

The cabinet of the south-west Asian country’s government recently underwent a reshuffle following civil protests earlier this year. The protests arose after Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said promised to boost industry jobs and instigated a new ministerial committee to look at calls for power to be handed to the elected council.

The oil-rich country’s government is said to be evaluating what benefits its first solar project could bring to the region before taking a final decision, according to Charles Rackham, project director at Oman Power and Water Procurement Andrew.

Original estimates by the power and water company pitched the solar project’s construction costs at $1bn. With the cost of photovoltaic components having fallen within the last few months alone, the power company now expects the country can complete the project for half the cost.

Oman’s government is expected to offer the contract for the power purchase from the project via a competitive tender. The construction contract for the solar project is expected to be awarded in around 14 months after it gets the full go-ahead from the government.

The country’s Authority for Electricity Regulation recently conducted a feasibility study that confirmed the high potential for the development of solar energy projects in the region.

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