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Oman 2016 | ENVIRONMENT & UTILITIES | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Ali Said Nasser Al Hadabi, CEO of Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC), on investment strategies, rising demand within Oman, and future expansion plans.

 Ali Said Nasser Al Hadabi
BIOGRAPHY
Ali Said Nasser Al Hadabi holds a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) as well as a Master’s in Power Engineering from the University of Dundee in Scotland. He joined the Ministry of Electricity and Water in 1990, and has been involved in the power sector since. In 2005, he became the CEO of Majan Electricity Company, and since 2008, he has been the CEO of Oman Electricity Transmission Company.

Could you outline something of the background to the core business of OETC?

Our key function is to transport electricity from the generation at power plants around Oman to the distribution customers. We are also responsible for the controlling and dispatching of electrical energy from all of these power plants as well as controlling the transmission system. Our main role and responsibility is to make sure that we transport electricity in a highly reliable and efficient way to the customer.

When being formed, can you pinpoint some highlights OETC has had?

OETC was formed in 2005, and it came with a license from the Authority for Electricity Regulation. We made a lot of investments to keep up with the growth and demand for electricity and we control the expansion of our network to fulfill all requirements. In January 2014, OETC went through a major change by taking over the transmission system in the south of Oman.

Looking at December 2014, there were some contracts worth around $228 million, which you signed with various companies for new construction. Can you discuss how that has developed your input into the power sector?

We are currently adding new projects to the pipeline, some of which will be no less than $260 million. We are targeting local and international companies to make investments in these projects, as it is important to have a balance. As for local companies, we encourage new contractors and expect them to participate in new projects. Part of our license is to build the network, ensuring that the generation delivers power through the grid. In the coming three years, we expect to invest more than $780 million to allow us to evacuate the power for a new generation coming in the North of Oman, namely in Ibri and Sohar.

What are your thoughts regarding the rising demand for electricity in Oman demand? Is it possible to keep up with it in the medium term?

The demand has come from the development of the country and the high growth, especially from the industrial sector. We have good planning to keep up with the demand and we have a long term Master Plan (up to 2030) as well as producing a five-year capability statement that is in line with the Master Plan. Accordingly, we consult with the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company and distribution companies which provide us with the forecasting for generation and demand respectively.

This year saw a 10-year bond issue for OETC. Can you provide some details regarding what the impact of this will be?

There has been an increase of capital acquirement within OETC, as we have been gearing toward significant expansion over the coming five years. We have therefore decided to increase our long-term funding. The 10-year bond will help us to finance future projects, most of which will happen in 2016, as well as settle some of the short-term loans that we have taken from local banks. We have had great success, which will help us for 10 more years.

Regarding the transmission of electricity in Oman, what are the major challenges that you face and what are your projects to mitigate these concerns?

Most of the challenges we face relate to getting the right corridors. We are struggling with the government regarding getting the right corridor for our transmission network. We also face challenges with contractors; contractors in Oman are overloaded with projects at the moment, so there are not enough to take on the challenge of expansion and new projects.