RFQ for unprecedented 1,200 MW coal project in Oman

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RFQ for unprecedented 1,200 MW coal project in Oman

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The Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) has issued a Request for Qualification (RFQ) for a clean coal-fired independent power project (IPP) with a capacity of 1,200 MW and located at Duqm, around 530km south of the capital, Muscat. This is the first IPP based on clean coal technology to be developed in the country.

The RFQ document is available for purchase from 8 to 24 April 2018. Statements of qualification must then be submitted by 7 June 2018. See the Business Opportunity for more information.

Clean coal refers to the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of coal generation. The carbon dioxide generated by a plant is captured and stored underground in rock formations and aquifers. Although, so far no major coal power plant has managed to successfully utilise CCS on a commercial scale.

Last year, the OPWP sponsored a techno-economic feasibility study on a 1,800 MW coal-fired IPP. In September, while providing an update on the study, the CEO of the company commented that the total capacity of 1,800 MW will be developed in different phases, potentially in multiple locations. Duqm was cited as the preferred location as it can meet demand in both the southern and northern regions of the country. Therefore, this 1,200 MW tender may be accompanied by a further 600 MW in the near future.

The project is in line with Oman's vision to diversify fuel sources. The country is currently heavily dependent on natural gas as the principal fuel source for power generation and water desalination, with 200 million cubic feet imported per day to meet electricity generation demand. Though, low natural gas prices cause it to remain preferential to coal, especially more expensive clean coal.

The drive to diversify began with a flying start this year, with the OPWP issuing an RFQ for its first utility-scale solar project - a 500 MW plant to be located at Ibri, which is around 300 km west from Muscat. In February the company announced that it had received 28 responses.

In addition to this, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), which produces nearly all of the country’s gas, launched a tender for a 100 MW solar project in January with a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI). The plant is to be constructed at Amin, in the southern region of the country.

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