Thursday, July 16, 2009

Oman to go ahead with first coal-fired power plant

Muscat: Oman on Monday began the process of selecting a team of project advisers to assist the government in the development of the country's first coal-fired power plant.

The move is seen as an affirmation of the government's determination to press ahead with the project despite doubts expressed in some quarters about the viability of the venture.

Several leading international banks, legal firms, and engineering consultants are vying for contracts to provide financial, technical and legal advisory services to the state-run Oman Power and Water Company (OPWP), which oversees the implementation of all new power projects by competitive tender.

A growing shortfall of natural gas has compelled the government to explore alternative fuels, most notably coal, as a resource for future power generation. OPWP has outlined plans for a 1,000 megawatt-capacity coal-fired Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP) at Duqm in the remote Wusta region of the sultanate.

The project is designed to meet the energy needs of a future industrial and economic hub at Duqm, anchored by a world-scale port and dry-dock complex. Duqm is also tipped to host a major free trade area and tourism zone, among other mega economic developments.

Oman's Supreme Committee for Town Planning has already earmarked a 271-hectare site just north of the Duqm port for the development of the IWPP. The IWPP is slated to be operational by 2015.

Source: .Published: June 30, 2009, 22:51

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