Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) predicts strong electricity demand growth in its two main grid systems during 2013-19. In its latest seven-year outlook OPWP says peak demand in the Main Interconnected System (MIS) will grow by 9.5% a year, from 4.3gw in 2012 to 8.1gw in 2019. This exceeds previous forecasts “with implications for capacity procurement and fuel requirements.” In the Salalah System, peak demand is expected to grow at 12% a year, from 390mw in 2012 to 850mw in 2019.

OPWP lists major developments in the MIS through 2019 as: completion of the Barka Phase 3, Sohar Phase 2 and Sur plants, to provide a combined 3.49gw capacity in 2014; the addition of 200mw of solar capacity, subject to government approval; the expiration of contracts at existing plants with 1.517gw capacity; and the provision of one or more new plants in 2017-18 with aggregate capacity of 2.25-3gw. “The capacity requirement,” says OPWP, “will depend partly on the strategy adopted for expiring contracts.” In Salalah, the 276mw Raysut plant is scheduled for privatization in 2014 and the 300-400mw Salalah 2 independent power producer (IPP) project will be developed for 2017 start-up. (CONTINUED - 541 WORDS)