Musandam Independent Power Project (IPP) was built in the Musandam region of northern Oman. Credit: Wartsila.
The 120MW smart power plant was supplied by Wartsila under a turnkey contract. Credit: Wartsila.
The inauguration ceremony of Musandam Independent Power Project (IPP) was held in November 2017. Credit: Wartsila.

Musandam Independent Power Project (IPP) is a 120MW gas-fired power plant developed by Musandam Power Company (MPC) in the Musandam region of northern Oman. The project sources natural gas from the adjacent Musandam gas processing plant (MGP).

MPC is a joint venture between Oman Oil Company (OOC, 70%) and LG International Corp (30%). It was established as Oman’s first independent power producer in the Musandam Governorate.

The project was originally scheduled for commissioning by October 2016 but was officially inaugurated in November 2017.

The project generates 120MW of electricity, replacing the diesel-based electricity generation in the Governorate of Musandam. It is operated and managed by Wartsila under a 15-year operation and maintenance agreement with MPC.

Musandam IPP background

Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) appointed advisors, including Ernst and Young for financial, Curtis Mallet-Prevost for legal, and Poyry as well as Worley Parsons for technical, to conduct a feasibility study to develop a new gas-fired power plant in December 2011.

The pre-qualification process for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors was concluded in April 2013. A power purchase agreement (PPA) was signed with OPWP and a natural gas supply agreement was approved with the Oman Ministry of Oil and Gas in August 2015.

Financial closure for the project was achieved with Bank Muscat in the same month.

Musandam IPP make-up

The Musandam project occupies an area of 80,000m² located adjacent to the OOCEP Musandam Gas Plant on a coastal site near the Musandam/Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) border crossing. It uses natural gas as the primary fuel for the generation of electricity, while fuel oil is used as the backup fuel.

The smart power generation plant, supplied by Wartsila, includes 15 Wartsila 34DF engines and is capable of responding to load variations between 10MW and 120MW.

The plant is designed to operate at extreme temperatures of up to 50°C and deliver superior performance in highly humid conditions. The plant also suits island mode operations and does not require much water for cooling.

Musandam power plant construction

Construction of the MPP began with the laying of the foundation stone for the plant in October 2015. The power plant and main substation were built on the platform. The total cut volume of the project is 2.52 million metres cubed while concrete volume is 1,000m³.

Earthworks for the project included the removal of mountain materials of approximately 2.5 million metres cubed. The rocks were broken using pneumatic, hydraulic breakers and explosives.

An environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the project found the presence of coral reefs in the area. Silt curtains were installed to stop the mud migration towards the corals. A quarry run of approximately 1.2 million metres cubed was dumped, and a revetment comprising two layers of rock was provided to protect the area.

Retaining walls were built considering the landscape, dimensions and levels of the plot. Gabion walls were constructed to retain rockfall from mountainsides, while reinforced concrete walls were also built for additional protection around the structures.

Grid connection

The electricity generated from the project is transmitted to the existing medium-voltage grid through new 132KV transmission lines built by the Rural Area Electricity Company SAOC.

Contractors involved

Wartsila was chosen as the EPC contractor and long-term service provider for the project in December 2014.

Sarooj Construction Company (SCC) was awarded the EPC subcontract by Wartsila to perform enabling works.