Oman 2019 | GREEN ECONOMY | B2B

Omani energy providers are brewing up a concoction of privatization schemes set to boost output and keep prices stable.

Ali Said Al Hadabi
Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC)
Saleh Bin Nasser Al Rumhi
Rural Areas Electricity Company (Tanweer)

What are you doing to improve your operations?

ALI SAID AL HADABI Based on the government's decision represented by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Public Authority of Electricity and Water (PAEW), Nama Holding has commenced first phase of a partial privatization of the OETC and MEDC that aims to tap into and promote private sector participation as part of the nation-building process. The primary objective of privatization aims at diversifying investments and attracting FDI into the Sultanate with strategic partners that will help the sector prosper in international markets, in addition to importing global management expertise and the latest technology to maintain overall career development by providing training opportunities as well as improving staff capabilities to cope with recent international innovations in performance efficiency and quality assurance.

SALEH BIN NASSER AL RUMHI Currently, natural gas generation accounts for the majority of the connected grid. Policy requires increasing renewable energy production to account for 10% of the energy mix by 2025. Tanweer plans to double that and reach more than 20% by 2025. The wind project is one element of that plan, and we have 11 sites in three regions of the country already identified for hybrid solar-distributed generation projects. The future of electricity is through distributed generation, with renewable energy at the top to reduce the cost of generation. We see a positive appetite from the market to go into that, having received around 90 expressions of interest from local and international companies. We plan to launch the tender of these 11 sites by 2Q2019 and hope that will contribute significantly to the energy mix to achieve 20% within our own electricity distribution and generation business.

What are your objectives for 2019?

ASAH One of our key objectives for the next one-year period is further developing our human resources. With several international development programs (IDPs) already underway, we are looking to close the identified gaps between a person's assessed level and competency requirements. When it comes to HSE, we are committed to achieving “zero harm" and will remain focused on contractor awareness and compliance, as this is seen as the potential source of HSE risk. When it comes to operations, we are committed to maintaining a high reliability of supply and working toward the targets we set as per the ITOMS framework. As for finance, we are committed to working closely with the shareholders treasury department to develop and implement an effective strategy that ensures access to sufficient funds through Tranch3.

SBNAR For the next generation, a major challenge is fuel. Many industries, particularly in Duqm and Sohar, demand gas as a feedstock or fuel source. However, we see this challenge being met by new discoveries of gas and promising investments in renewable energy. From the investment and technology side, Oman has established a strong foundation and has excellent regulations to incentivize investment in the electricity market. On the distribution side, the challenge is the nature of our mandate, as we cover 70-75% of the area of Oman, and the majority of those areas are fairly remote and still developing. We have to invest a huge amount to reach all our end customers, who are not as densely located as in Muscat or Sohar. For the next year we are looking at two critical things. Internally, we are strengthening our competencies and capacity because we are moving into non-conventional areas like renewables, the smart grid, and distributed generation, which all require Tanweer to think differently. Secondly, we will continue our focus on customer satisfaction. That is internal as well as with our contractors, who we are moving in the direction of better customer service as well as efficiency.