Oman power sector to grow 4% annually in next 7 years

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The Sultanate of Oman’s power sector authorities expect a modest, but steady, improvement in electricity demand over the next several years after 2020’s dip in consumption stemming from the effects of the global economic downturn, driven by the pandemic.

Citing the latest 7-Year Outlook Statement of Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), the Authority for Public Services Regulation (APSR) revealed that electricity demand in the Sultanate is projected to increase by an average of 4 percent annually over the next seven years, encompassing the 2021-2027 timeframe.

The report compares with a 2.3 percent decline in demand in last year, reversing for the first time a robust year-on-year uptick in consumption since 2005 when the sector was restructured and overhauled.

The regulator noted, in its newly published 2020 Annual Report, that peak demand in the Main Interconnected System is projected to rise 4 percent annually in the ‘expected case’ to reach 8,371 MW in 2027.

In the ‘low case’ scenario, however, annual growth is projected at around 2 percent to achieve a peak demand of 7,133 MW at the end of the timeframe.

In the ‘high case’ scenario, peak demand is estimated at 9,609 MW amid annual growth of 6 percent during the timeframe of 2021-2027. Growth trends are similar in the Dhofar System, which covers much of the Dhofar Governorate.

In the ‘expected case’ scenario, peak demand is projected to increase 4 percent per year to reach 707 MW in 2027.

Corresponding figures for the ‘low case’ and ‘high case’ scenarios are 2 percent (602 MW) and 6 percent (811 MW) respectively. A key driver for the ‘high case’ projection is a strong uptrend in industrialization, according to the report.

In contrast, the total electricity supply fell 2.3 percent to 32,990 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in 2020, down from 33,756 GWh a year earlier.

Net generation in the MIS grid was lower by 1.3 percent in 2020, further slumping by 7.6 percent in the Dhofar System. However, the Rural Areas Electricity Company (Tanweer) reported a 7.9 percent growth in net output during the year.

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