Oman to issue RfQs for three wind power projects this year

Three new wind-based Independent Power Projects (IPPs) will be initiated for procurement this year as part of the Omani government’s drive to promote the use of renewables for the nation’s energy requirements.

According to Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), the sole national buyer of electricity and water output, a Request for Qualifications (RfQ) as well as a Request for Proposals (RfP) will be issued this year for wind-based IPPs planned at Duqm (Al Wusta Governorate), Jalaan Bani Bu Ali (South Al Sharqiyah Governorate and Harweel (Dhofar Governorate).

The three wind farms are among a portfolio of power and water related initiatives, identified by OPWP – part of Nama Group – as “key priorities” for development in 2023. Included in the portfolio are commitments towards HSE and zero harm, renewable energy projects, water desalination schemes, and tariff-related studies.

Wind Resource Assessment (WRA) studies have picked up pace following the launch of Oman’s first wind farm – a 50 MW 13-turbine facility – at Harweel about three years ago. The studies have helped identify a number of optimal locations for the establishment of wind powered IPPs.

“OPWP has completed a one-year ground wind data gathering exercise at Ras Madrakah (Wusta) and Sadah (Dhofar) as part of its Wind Resource Assessment,” the state-run utility said in its 2022 Annual Report. “This data will serve as a foundation for the evaluation of the feasibility of wind projects at each site. The company has also initiated the development activities of three wind projects at Duqm, Jalaan Bani Bu Ali, and Harweel.”

At Jalaan Bani Ali, authorities are weighing a 100 MW capacity wind IPP, with procurement processes running almost concurrently for similar wind farms in Duqm (200 MW) and Harweel (100 MW).

Furthermore, in what is anticipated to be one of the most consequential years for Oman’s renewable energy push, OPWP is also targeting the issuance of an RfQ and RfP for a new 500 MW solar IPP at Ibri. Dubbed Ibri III Solar IPP, the project is planned for development alongside the existing Ibri II Solar IPP.

Separately, an RfQ and RfP are expected to go out as part of the procurement of Oman’s first-ever Waste-to-Energy project. OPWP plans to procure the roughly 150 MW-capacity project in coordination with Oman Environmental Services Holding Company (be’ah).

Also during 2023, OPWP plans to initiate a study into the feasibility of establishing a Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant in the country. A separate study will also explore options for energy storage and an optimized energy mix.

In the water sector, initiatives for priority attention include Barka V Independent Water Project (IWP) – a 100,000 m3 plant slated for commercial operation in Q2 2024, and the 300,000 m3 Al Ghubrah IWP, which has commenced construction.

Oman Establishment for Press, Publication and Advertising (OEPPA)