Oman

In the Middle East, countries spend heavily to transform seawater into drinking water – Oman

The pipes work like powerful straws, sucking in seawater and sending it through a series of tanks and filters. The Barka 4 desalination plant is Oman’s newest and largest.

Powered by natural gas, the plant went online last year and at full capacity can churn out 74 million gallons of potable water in a day — enough to fill 112 Olympic-size swimming pools.  

Oman relies on desalination because its extreme scarcity of water leaves few other options. In this corner of the Arabian Peninsula, there isn’t a single river that flows year-round, and pumping from wells has led to depleted aquifers and allowed saltwater to seep into groundwater along the coast.

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Water-scarce Gulf countries bank on desalination, at a cost – Oman

SUR: “We have water, and it’s the most important thing in a house,” says Abdullah Al-Harthi from the port city of Sur in Oman, a country that relies on desalination plants.

But for Oman and the other Gulf countries dominated by vast and scorching deserts, obtaining fresh water from the sea comes at a high financial and environmental cost.

In Sur, south of the capital Muscat, water for residents and businesses comes from a large desalination plant that serves some 600,000 people. “Before, life was very difficult. We had wells, and water was delivered by trucks,” the 58-year-old said. “Since the 1990s, water has come through pipes and we’ve had no cuts.”

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Oman’s second biggest water project launched – Oman

A huge water desalination plant, with a production capacity of around 250,000 cubic metres (m3) per day, has been brought into operation at Sohar Port.

The Suhar-4 Independent Water Project (IWP), built with an investment of around $220 million, reinforces Suhar’s importance as Oman’s biggest seawater desalination hub designed to meet the escalating potable water requirements of vast swathes of the Batinah and other grid-connected parts of north Oman.

Last week, Spanish water giant Sacyr — the lead investor in the Suhar-4 IWP — said the reverse osmosis (RO) based desalination plant, located within Sohar Port, is now fully operational.

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Sacyr Starts Operations at the Desalination Plant in Sohar – Oman

acyr through its affiliates Sacyr Sadyt and Sacyr Agua has started operations at the seawater desalination plant in Sohar, on the Al Batinah coast. With an investment of nearly EUR 200 million, the revenue backlog estimated for 20 years of operation totals EUR 1 billion.

The reverse-osmosis desalination plant is the second-largest in the country and has the capacity to produce 250,000 m3 of water per day, supplying around 220,000 people.

The public company Oman Power and Water Procurement Company awarded the bid for the Sohar 4 IWP desalination plant to the consortium led by Sacyr Agua (51%), and in which Oman Brunei Investment Company (25%) and Sogex Oman (24%) are also participating, through the Water Purchase Agreement – WPA. The WPA includes the design, construction, ownership, financing, operation, maintenance and purchase of potable water for 20 years.

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78 million m³ of potable water unaccounted for last year – Oman

An estimated 78.6 million cubic metres of potable water, representing 21.6 per cent of the total output of desalinated and groundwater handled by Oman’s Public Authority for Water (Diam), remained unaccounted for in 2018.

Unaccounted for Water (UFW) —typically attributed to leaks in underground pipeline systems, metering errors and unbilled metres — represents a significant share of Diam’s revenues and is the subject of intensive mitigation efforts.

Those efforts helped bring down water losses linked to UFW from 24.3 per cent (equivalent to 98.3 million cubic metres) in 2017 to 21.6 per cent last year, according to Diam’s Executive Chairman, Mohammed bin Abdullah al Mahrouqi.

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Spanish firm Abengoa delivers key power transmission project for Oman’s OETC- Oman

Abengoa, a Spanish-based international firm specialising in infrastructure, energy and water projects, has announced the successful completion of a major electricity transmission project in the Sultanate.

The client is Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC), the state-owned utility part of Nama Group that oversees the operation of the nations two main grids in the north and south of the country.

Abengoa developed the construction, supply, assembly and commissioning of two new substations of 132/33 kV, one in Samad and one in Sinaw, and more than 60 km of overhead transmission lines of 132 kV associated with them, whose main technical challenge was to cross the mountainous areas of the interior of Oman.

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Renewables to preclude need for new gas-based power projects in Oman – Oman

Going by expected power demand growth trends, any demand for new generation capacity will be met almost exclusively by renewables over the next seven years, precluding the need for any new gas-based Independent Power Projects (IPPs) during this timeframe.

This paradigm shift in Omans power generation space underscores the ambitious role envisaged for renewables chiefly solar photovoltaic capacity in the nations energy mix, according to an official of Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), the sole procurer of electricity generation and related water desalination capacity under the sector law.

More than 11 per cent of power supply will come from renewable energy by 2023, rising to between 25-30 per cent by 2030, said Bushra al Maskari, Planning Director OPWP. Even globally, moving from zero per cent to 30 per cent in less than a decade is astounding, she remarked in a presentation on energy trends at a forum held in the city recently.

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Gulf Consortium Signs Solar PV Power Project Agreements in Oman – Oman

A consortium composed of Saudi Arabia-based utility developer ACWA Power, Kuwait’s Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) and Alternative Energy Projects Company (AEPCo) signed a contract and agreements with the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) to develop a 500-megawatt solar PV power plant in Ibri, Oman.

It will be developed on a BOO (build, own, operate) basis, which includes the development, finance, construction and operation of the solar power plant.

The project, dubbed Ibri-2 Independent Power Producer (IPP), will be the first utility-scale solar power project in Oman and will utilize Solar PV technology to yield 500MWac of power.

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Repair work on Barka 2 power and water desalination plant reaches completion – Oman

Repairs on gas turbine three (GT-3) of Oman’s Barka Two power and water desalisanation plant have finished ahead of schedule, nearly three weeks after an inspection initially revealed damage.

In an 11 April, 2019, filing to the Muscat Securities Market, plant operator SMN Power Holding said the affected unit returned to service on 4 April – six calendar days ahead of its previously communicated expected completion date.

The financial impact due to the outage and repair work amounted to $1.8m (OMR800,000), the group added.

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PUB-owned Tuas Desalination Plant wins global award, beating others in Oman, Tunisia and Egypt – Singapore

Barely a year after its opening, the Republic’s Tuas Desalination Plant, has got an accolade to its name, beating plants from Oman, Tunisia and Egypt that were in the running.

The desalination plant – the first plant owned and operated by national water agency PUB – was named Desalination Plant of the Year at this year’s Global Water Awards, presented at the Global Water Summit in London on Tuesday (April 9).

The awards recognise the most important achievements in the international water industry, including improved operating performance, innovative technology adoption and sustainable financial models.

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