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Oman will take a major step in establishing its solar energy industry when the government launches the competitive process for the procurement of a large-scale solar power project during the first half of next year.

OmanA boost for Oman's solar industry

The task of managing the implementation of the scheme has fallen to the state-owned Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP). According to OPWP Chief Executive Officer Bob Whitelaw, the competitive process for the utility-scale Solar Power Project will be similar to an Independent Power Project (IPP).

Speaking at the first Omani-Spanish Business Forum Whitelaw said the procurement process will be governed by the existing legislative framework which is backed by a stated government policy to procure capacity based on solar technology.

A detailed study set up by the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW) last December confirmed the feasibility of a privately funded large-scale solar power scheme in Oman, which would be sized at between 50 and 200 MW.

The study also identified a shortlist of four possible locations -- Adam, Manah, Sohar and Ibri -- selected on the basis of the levels of solar insolation they enjoy, topography, land area requirements, and proximity to the Main Interconnected System (MIS).