Oman’s Sohar 2 and Barka 3 Independent Power Plants (IPP) have achieved full commercial operation on April 3 and April 4 respectively, adding almost 1,500MW of power to the sultanate’s current existing capacity of 4,500MW.
Sohar 2 and Barka 3 are both coastal, gas-fired combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants with a capacity of 744MW each. Together they are expected to help the country’s peak electricity demand in summer.
Construction began in September 2010 with a consortium of Siemens AG (Germany) and GS Engineering & Construction (Korea) as EPC contractors. Siemens also supplied the majority of the power island equipment, including the gas and steam turbines and generators.
The plants will be operated and maintained by Suez-Tractebel Operation and Maintenance Oman.
Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) is the single off-taker of the power sold by both project companies under two, separate 15-year power purchase contracts.
While the Sohar 2 plant is owned by Al Batinah Power Company, the Al Suwadi Power Company owns the Barka 3 plant.
Both the Al Batinah and Al Suwadi companies are owned by a consortium comprised of GDF SUEZ (46 per cent), Multitech, part of Suhail Bahwan Group (22 per cent), Sojitz Corporation and Shikoku Electric Power Co, (11 per cent each) and Oman’s Public Authority for Social Insurance (10 per cent).
Power demand across Oman is expected to reach 7,271MW by 2018, OPWP said in its Seven Year Statement released last year.
Along with four IPPs including Sohar 2, Sur and Salalah, Oman’s planned 200MW solar facility is also expected to be operational by 2016, said the report.
“OPWP plans to continue developing a long-term strategy with regards to fuel diversity and security and the roles of renewables, nuclear power and regional interconnects,” it said.