ABDULLAH AL RAWAHI

Oman 2020 | SUSTAINABILITY | INTERVIEW

The main target is to reduce gas consumption and boost efficiency.

Abdullah Al Rawahi
BIOGRAPHY

Abdullah Al Rawahi was appointed CEO of Al Kamil Power in 2017. He holds a master's degree in industrial engineering and bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Sultan Qaboos University. Al Rawahi has been associated with power plant operations and management in various power plants for over 22 years.

What have been the main highlights over the last two years, and what is your strategy for 2020 and the pillars supporting this strategy?
As a power company, our business model is straightforward, because we have a power purchase agreement (PPA) with OPWP. Al Kamil started in 2002, signed the PPA up to the end of 2017, and negotiated an extension up to the end of 2021 with OPWP. Starting from 2022, OPWP will launch a new way of tendering for another PPA. First, it did stage one in which it set a benchmark equal to the new player. If these companies accept that, they do not need to bring in a new player.

How do you see the future of electricity market in Oman?
In general, OPWP is stopping most new thermal plants and is instead looking to expand its involvement in renewables. The main target is to reduce gas consumption and boost efficiency. In September 2019, gas consumption was reduced by 9.4% YoY, though there was an increase in generation. This means Oman is pushing for the use of gas more for industry and reduce it in power plants. Oman is heading toward a spot or wholesale market, where generators and investors are exposed to more risks.

How advanced is Oman regarding smart grid solutions?
With the advent of renewables, smart grids are necessary because you need to quickly adjust to changes and keep the provision of power constant. Previously, there were only plants operated by fuel gas, which was easy to manually switch on and off; however, now with the mix of energy sources, it is complicated and has to be managed by AI. This means adopting fast calculations and responses, big data, and so forth.