Oman mulls thermal concentrated solar power project

Oman mulls thermal concentrated solar power project
Shaikh Mohammed bin rashid Al maktoum launced the Shaikh Mohammed bin rashid Al maktoum Solar Park in Dubai
Published: 18 July 2019 - 7:13 a.m.
By: Baset Asaba

The Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) — the sole procurer of new electricity and water capacity under the Sector Law — is mulling plans to set up the first-ever solar thermal project to support the future energy requirements of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Duqm.

The concentrated solar power plant will only proceed if a clean coal Independent Power Project (IPP) proposed at Duqm does not get the government’s green-light before the end of this year.

Envisaged in lieu of the clean coal power plant is a 600 MW solar thermal project — also known as a Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project, OPWP said in its newly published 7-Year Outlook Statement spanning the 2019-2025 timeframe.

Concentrated solar power plants use thousands of parabolic trough mirrors to convert the sun’s energy into high-temperature heat which is then channelled through a conventional generator to produce electricity. The proposed venture will also include thermal storage to keep operating after sundown.

Electricity demand is projected to grow at a blistering 23 per cent per annum over the next five years in line with expectations of strong investment inflows into the SEZ — the largest of its kind in the Middle East. The SEZ and its environs are currently served by a 67 MW diesel-powered plant operated by the Rural Areas Electricity Company (RAECO), according to Oman Observer.

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