OPWP Announces RFQ for 500 MW Solar Project in Oman

The Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) has announced a Request for Qualification (RFQ) for a 500 MW utility-scale solar project in in the country.

Oman’s first utility-scale solar plant is set to be established in Ibri, 300 km west of Muscat. The 500 MW project will be developed under Oman’s Independent Power Project (IPP) structure.

In a media statement released by OPWD, its chairman said, “this project will be the first in the chain of renewables projects that the company is planning to develop in the coming few years to support the sustainability approach of the country.”

The announcement comes as the Middle East is emerging as one of the largest renewable energy markets globally. Oman’s neighbor Saudi Arabia, one of the key players in the region, has set a target to produce approximately 10 percent of its power from renewable sources in the next six years.

The Kingdom’s drive toward a greener and more sustainable future was evident at its first-ever solar auction held in October 2017. Mercom reported the lowest submitted bid for the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) at the 300 MW solar PV project came in at just 6.69 halalas/kWh ($0.0178/kWh).

The Oman project is expected to cost approximately $500 million and it will be built, owned, and operated by the private sector. The project scope includes financing, procurement, engineering, construction, and operation and maintenance of the power plant.

The plant is expected to generate enough power to supply 33,000 homes and offset 340,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. The project will be awarded in the second half of 2018 and it is expected to be commercially operational by early 2021.