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Oman to spend US$301mn to upgrade power grid


Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC) is working hard on expanding the countrys power transmission infrastructure and upgrading the national power grid to try and meet growing local energy demand.

The country's power grid, known as the Main Interconnected System (MIS), is owned, operated and managed by OETC and will be significantly upgraded through the 10 agreements signed at the end of last month totalling US$301mn.

The main share of the expansion expendiature will be allocated to the building of new grid stations and transmission lines from two new Independent Power Projects (IPPs) under development at Barka and Sohar on the Batinah coast.

The new IPPs, named Barka-3 and Sohar-2, will contribute around 1,500 MW of new power generation capacity to the grid.The most significant by far is a contract for the construction of a new grid station that will connect a giant power scheme planned at Sur in the Sharqiyah region, to the power grid. At 2,000 MW, the Sur IPP, which is currently under tender, is set to be the Sultanate's biggest Greenfield power project.

To extract power from this massive IPP, OETC is committing US$85.5mn towards the construction of a 220KV grid station at Sur, as well as an associated overhead transmission line that will run 129 km from Sur to Jahlut in Muscat Governorate.

A further US$65.6mn will be set aside for the construction of a new 220KV grid stations at Barka and Misfah (near Rusayl in Muscat Governorate). The two grid stations will be linked by 53 km lines and 10 km of underground lines. When completed, the new transmission network will allow for power from Barka-3's new 744MW power scheme to be evacuated to the grid.

OETC is also investing US$35.3mn in a separate contract involving the installation of a 220KV double circuit connecting the Sohar 220KV grid station to Seeh al Makarim. This key is designed to connect the new Sohar-2 power scheme (also boasting a maximum generation capacity of 744MW) to be connected to the national grid.