What are the most recent developments at Mazoon Electricity over the past year?
Mazoon Electricity is part of Nama Group, and we have a clear mission, vision, strategic objectives, and road map with key performance indicators. Customer experience is the most important area of focus for the company and all company resources are aligned with the same. When it comes to distribution and supply business, the digital transformation is one of our main enablers to achieve our strategic direction and we have been growing in this regard. For example, 90% of our bills were printed in 2018; however, now with the adoption of green bills, we use limited hard copies and the plan is to reach zero hard copies. By doing this, Mazoon Electricity continues with its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and promote sustainability. In addition, around 65% of our invoice collection takes place via e-channels. For meter readings too, we are switching to pre-paid and smart metering. We will be fully digitalized in the next three to four years. As a next step in smart grids, we are upgrading our SCADA to stay up to date and support operating our network remotely. We believe in the capabilities and competencies of our employees and are investing in their learning and development in order to take the company forward to contribute in achieving Oman Vision 2040. In 2020, the company has also received the Asian Award for taking the lead in using green oil and contributing to saving the environment.
How do you expect the new tariffs to impact demand for electricity in the market?
We believe this would lead to more efficient use of electricity and that would help to protect the resources of the country for the next generation by not wasting electricity and instead using it for something else, such as opening a new plant or financing something else. While we want to earn high profits, it is more important to use the resources available in an efficient way for the benefit of the country. We expect as well that this step will accelerate the renewable energy source (PV roof top), demand side management, and energy-saving initiatives.
What specific initiatives are you implementing toward energy saving?
As a distribution and supply company, we are focusing more on raising awareness and providing general advice. We are offering advice about lighting, how to install air conditioners, fridges, and so on. We are also advising large plants to use capacitor banks. Sellers of air conditioners and other equipment can use stars to indicate the amount of consumption—such as green, yellow, and red, for example. We are also organizing workshops in schools, social organizations, and government department to encourage them to embrace some good energy conservation initiatives.
How would privatization affect the ability of private investors to join the market for electricity?
The privatization program is managed by NAMA Holding in cooperation with government parties. However, power generation is already completely privatized—49% of shares Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC) is sold to a private company. Besides, solid and clear regulations make the market in Oman attractive for investors. We are a government company, though we are already thinking and operating like a private one.
What main activities are you targeting in the short term at Mazoon Electricity?
Mazoon Electricity has two businesses: distribution and supply. In three years, we expect the supply business to be 100% digitalized. For the distribution business, we are now working to upgrade our SCADA and enrich it with the smart grid. We will focus on digital transformation while also prioritizing the health and safety of our people and contractors. Implementing the smart grid will contribute to reducing our carbon footprint and protecting the health of our employees. It will also help us achieve the efficiency we are looking for and increase our profits.