Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and Nama Group (formerly known as Electricity Holding Group) of Oman have signed an agreement for the speedy implementation of a more integrated and co-ordinated power grid across the sultanate.
The MoU with Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC) and Oman Power and Water Procurement (OPWP) company, both members of Nama Group, will help enhance the security and reliability of the sultanate’s electricity network, said a statement from PDO.
At present, there are four separate electricity supply networks: the Main Integrated System in the North, the Dhofar System in the South, the Duqm System in the East and PDO’s in Central Oman.
With this deal, all the four will eventually be interconnected via a 400 Kilovolt power transmission system, which will enable them to share power reserves, co-ordinate electricity generation and planning, and access areas with high renewable energy potential.
It should also reduce the amount of fuel gas needed for power generation facilities in the country, freeing it up for use elsewhere.
This will establish a framework for a more efficient and co-ordinated national electricity grid by integrating the existing networks, said PDO managing director Raoul Restucci after signing the agreement at the Oman Energy & Water Exhibition and Conference which opened in Seeb on Monday.
"PDO and our partners will be able to work together more effectively in ensuring the stability and security of the day-to-day running of the system and also during emergencies. If one part of the country needs more electricity, this makes it easier to transmit it from another part where there is less demand," stated Restucci.
“The new set-up will also mean we can reduce the consumption of vital gas for power generation which can be diverted for industrial, commercial and residential uses,” he added.
The MoU will also set up a technical support hub where experts from PDO, OPWP and OETC can share relevant technical and economic data and information - and pave the way for cooperation on potential renewable energy development.
The sultanate's top exploration and production company, PDO also signed a second MoU with the Public Authority for Electricity and Water to boost co-operation on its various projects for communities in PDO’s concession area and the formation of a committee to supervise the process of distributing water to residents in the area (excluding Dhofar and Sohar).
OPWP chief executive Ahmad Al Jahdami said power interconnection between PDO and the main power grid will pave the way for joint planning for future power capacities in a manner that will help reduce costs of the produced capacities.
"It will also provide new opportunities for utilisation of renewable energy between the two grids in addition to providing the gas needs in the Sultanate," he added.
OETC chief executive Ali Al Hadabi said: "This MoU will provide the opportunity for studying the possibility of interconnecting the unified transmission grid owned by us and connecting it with PDO grids, and the possibility for extending high voltage lines to the south of the Sultanate in Salalah."
“At OETC, we consider this project as a viable and important project that will help us in the future to connect our existing grid in Dhofar-Salalah with the main grid in the North,” he added.