The Rabt project will link the national grid in the north with other transmission networks
Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC) has awarded contracts for the RO183m ($476m) first phase of a project called Rabt, which aims to connect the national grid with other electricity transmission networks in the sultanate.
The planned project will link the main grid to the electricity transmission networks of Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), the Rural Areas Electricity Company (Raeco/Tanweer) in Al-Wusta and the Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm (Sezad).
The first phase comprises five projects, for which contracts were awarded on 25 October to a group of engineering companies specialised in building electricity transmission networks, OETC said in a statement.
It consists of 660 kilometres of 400-kilovolt (kV) overhead lines and five main grid stations in Nuhaida, Barik, Suwaihat, Duqum and Mahoot.
Unlike most of its GCC peers, Oman has three electricity systems. The largest, the Main Interconnected System (MIS), caters to the country’s northern region. The two other systems are maintained by Raeco and the Dhofar Power System.
The next phase of the project entails connecting the national grid with the Dhofar electricity transmission system.
OETC said the Rabt project will help secure the electricity network and open up “new horizons for the use of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar which are abundant in the Al-Wusta region”. The sultanate aims to produce 15 per cent of total energy from renewable sources by 2025.
In addition to connecting isolated areas such as Haima, Duqm and Mahoot with the national grid, the project is expected to boost efficiency while reducing the cost of energy produced in Duqm and Mahoot using diesel, due to its high cost and negative impact on the environment.
The first project entails the construction of 400kV grid stations at Barik and Suwaihat and linking them to PDO’s network. This project is estimated to cost RO39m and will be implemented over 24 months.
The second project entails the construction of 129km, 400kV overhead lines between the Barik and Suwaihat stations and 195km, 400kV transmission lines between Barik and Nuhaida stations. The project includes construction of overhead lines towers, insulators and associated construction works. This project is estimated to cost RO45m and will be implemented over 28 months.
The third project involves the construction of 400kV stations in Duqm and Mahoot. These stations will support the Tanweer network in meeting the growing demand for electricity in Sezad. This project will cost an estimated RO38m and will be implemented over 24 months.
The fourth project covers the construction of 191km, 400kV overhead lines between the Suwaihat and Duqm stations and 152km overhead lines between the Duqm and Mahoot stations. This project has a budget of RO45m and will take 28 months to implement.
The fifth project covers the construction of the Nuhaida 132/400kV station and the diversion of a 400kV transmission line linking the Izki and Ibri stations through the Nuhaida station. This station is the main interconnecting point between the national grid and PDO’s electricity network. The project budget is RO17m and it will be implemented within 24 months.
Project awards since privatisation
Rabt’s phase 1 is one of the earliest projects announced since Oman’s Electricity Holding Company (Nama) awarded State Grid Corporation of China the contract for the privatisation of OETC in December.
Nama divested 49 per cent of its shares in OETC to State Grid, which raised $1bn in capital.
Other contracts awarded this year include the three-year contract with US-headquartered GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions to implement an asset performance management solution covering OETC’s six 400kV substations.
In July, OETC warded a RO25.32m contract to Oman National Engineering & Investment Company for the construction of a 400/132kV substation with overhead power lines in Muscat’s Al-Jefnen village. The contract also includes the installation of 220/132kV transformers at the Misfah substation. The contract duration is 26 months.
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