Acwa Power-led consortium signs agreement to develop Oman solar project

The 500MW-scheme will be located west of Muscat, as part of sultanate’s renewable energy push

The GCC governments are developing new solar power plants as part of their strategy to increase renewable energy output. Courtesy Government of Dubai
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A consortium comprising Saudi Arabia-based utility developer Acwa Power with Kuwait’s Gulf Investment Corporation and Alternative Energy Projects Company signed agreement to develop a 500-megawatt solar power plant in Oman.

The consortium won the contract in March to develop the project, called Ibri-2 Independent Power Producer, for the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP). The winning bid proposed the best economic tariff for electricity sold to OPWP.

Under the agreement, the consortium will develop, finance and construct the project on a build, own and operate basis. Acwa Power serves as the lead investor with a 50 per cent stake, while GIC will have a 40 per cent stake and AEPC will control the remaining 10 per cent, a statement from Acwa Power on Saturday said.

“[The project demonstrates] the government of Oman’s ambitions related to renewable energy and diversifying the country’s power mix, as evidenced by the scope of this project and its future potential in supporting the Sultanate’s economy,” said Paddy Padmanathan, president and chief executive of Acwa Power.

The plant, which will be located 300 kilometres west of Muscat, will be the first utility-scale solar power project in Oman and contribute towards the government’s aim of increasing the supply of renewable energy in the sultanate.

It will be able to supply power to around 33,000 houses once it begins commercial operations in early 2021, and offset 340,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year, according to the consortium.

The project also demonstrates GCC companies' "ability to compete with their international counterparts to provide competitive solution in renewable and sustainable energy … and Oman's long-term vision in encouraging investment in this sector," added Hassan Qasem, general manager of Kuwait's Alternative Energy Projects Company.

Acwa Power, one of the biggest developers of electricity and water projects in the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia, last year said expected to submit bids for around $4 billion worth of project tenders in the second half of 2019.