Dec. 9, 2021


Salim Al Huthaili

Oman

Salim Al Huthaili

CEO, Alternative Energy, OQ

OQ continues to solidify its position as a leading sustainable integrated energy company with upcoming innovative projects that will change the energy landscape in the Sultanate.

BIO

Salim Al Huthaili was appointed CEO - Alternative Energy in November 2020. He was previously the CEO of DRPIC, a position he has held since 2018. Al Huthaili brings extensive global leadership experience gained from working with Shell in various roles, including alternative energy, projects, technology, and petrochemicals in Europe and the MENA region. He was also the CEO of OXEA between 2015 and 2018 (now OQ Chemicals). He holds a PhD in renewable energy and sustainable development from Nottingham University, UK.


At what stage is the research in Oman when it comes to alternative energy sources, and how is OQ contributing to that?

The production from the already commissioned solar and wind projects in Oman has given positive indicators for success in the alternative energy field. Our weather and geographical positioning in terms of natural resources is one of our strengths. We can harness those resources to produce sustainable energy and continue to play a critical role as a net energy exporter. We have already installed met masts in various locations with favorable wind and solar resources and conducted a few feasibility studies for mega alternative energy projects. The results of those feasibility studies and the projects being developed by OQ and its partners can play a sizable role to achieve and possibly exceed the renewable energy targets set by Oman Vision 2040.

OQ recently announced the Hyport Duqm project, an agreement with Uniper. How does OQ's investment strategy complement its alternative energy goals and mandate?

Alternative energy is the new avenue for sustained and long-term growth and a cornerstone of OQ's position as a leading sustainable integrated energy company. Thus, OQ's investment strategy is built around that, and alternative energy projects are being developed through partnerships with renowned international players attracting FDI and building capabilities along the whole value chain of alternative energy field.

OQ is partnering with DEME Concessions to develop a green hydrogen plant in Duqm and recently announced a green hydrogen project with EnerTech and InterContinental Energy. What is the timeline for these projects?

We have made great progress with our partners in these projects and other initiatives available in our pipeline. Hyport has reached another great milestone by singing a land reservation agreement for a 150-sqkm area and installation and commissioning of meteorological wind masts and solar stations is ongoing. The filed measurements from those stations would form the basis for an early final investment decision. The market for hydrogen—perceived as clean because it produces only water vapor when burned—is tiny today. However, it could be worth USD700 billion annually by 2050. We are hopeful that we can achieve final investment decision on various projects in a few years.

How do you envision renewables expanding in Oman, and how are you promoting renewables throughout the country?

Oman is uniquely positioned to play a significant role in the energy transition. We do not just have excellent renewable resources but are also blessed with a strategic location with proximity to both East and West markets, and political stability coupled with excellent diplomatic relationships. Oman can also capitalize on the excellent infrastructure of world-class ports, industry, and competencies developed in the energy sector and be at the forefront of the energy transition.

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