Work on Oman’s first large-scale wind energy project will start in June

Work on Oman’s first large-scale wind energy project will start in June this year, a top-level official at the Rural Areas Electricity Company (Raeco) told.

The $200 million-project, which will generate 50 megawatt of electricity, will be funded by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar).

The ambitious project, which is aimed at reducing dependence on conventional gas-fired power projects, has reached the tendering stage and a contract to build the project will be awarded by the end of the month, said Raeco chief executive officer Eng. Hamad bin Salim Al Maghderi.

“Several international firms are bidding for the project,” he said, adding, “We are expecting to start the work in June and complete the work by 2016.”

He was talking to the media on the sidelines of a meeting to announce the Distribution Code Review Panel’s annual event for companies engaged in the electricity sector on March 9.

The project is coming up in Harweel in Dhofar region and an agreement to build the project was signed between Raeco and Masdar in October last year.

“We are just executing the project. But they are investing and developing it.” An earlier report said that Raeco would run the project after completion.

Oman government has been encouraging investment in renewable energy since it will contribute immensely in reducing the use of traditional fossil fuel for generating electricity.

Thus, the country can divert these precious resources for other industries, which will add value and generate employment opportunities.

It will also contribute to the government’s plan to reduce subsidy, which has been increasing year after year.

The proposed wind project will come up in a total area of 200,000 square metres and the power capacity of the plant will be sufficient for about 50 per cent of consumption in Dhofar region during winter season.

Eng Al Magdheri earlier said that 15 to 25 turbines would be installed, each with a height of 120 to 145 metres from the surface of the land, depending on topography.

The estimated capacity of the single turbine is 2 to 3.2 MW, depending on its location and wind movement.