A string of new water desalination projects, currently under various stages of planning, tendering and development at key locations across the Sultanate, will help supplant older, less efficient projects nearing the end of their operational life, according to the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (Diam).
“Diam believes that desalination plants are the strategic choice for providing safe drinking water of high quality and efficiency due to the geographical location of the Sultanate and the scarcity of groundwater resources,” the state-owned utility said in a recent overview of its activities.
Thereafter it will sell approximately 80,000m³ desalinated water a day for over 20 years to the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company, the single buyer of power and water for all IPP/IWPP projects within the Sultanate of Oman.
Oman on Sunday advised all private sector establishments in Dhofar region to shut down for three days after Cyclone Mekunu hit the southern part of the Gulf Arab country, causing extensive damage that halted operations at Salalah port.
As many as six power generation and water desalination companies will launch their initial public offerings (IPOs) to list on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) within three years, according to Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP). As per their project founders agreements, Oman’s independent water and independent power projects are required to offer a minimum 35 per cent of the share capital to the public within four years of the incorporation of the company. ‘There are six power and water sector projects that will be going for IPOs within next three years. Out of these six projects, four IPOs will be from power sector and two from water sector,’ Eng Yaqoob Saif Hamood al Kiyumi, chief executive officer of OPWP told Muscat Daily recently. Kiyumi said that the power and water sector companies currently account for approximately RO400mn of market capitalisation on the MSM. ‘We should see a large amount of additional capital to be listed on the stock market from these six new IPOs. With the sound record of these projects, I am sure they will only increase sector’s contribution to Oman’s capital market,’ he said. Kiyumi said, ‘The huge success of previous power and water companies’ IPOs provides a clear indication of investors’ faith in the development of Oman’s power and water sectors.’ Recently, Muscat City Desalination Company (MCDC) completed its IPO which was oversubscribed nearly 19 times. The shares of MCDC surged more than 35 per cent on listing at the Muscat Securities Market on Tuesday.Kiyumi said that the clarity in Oman’s regulatory processes created a friendly environment for developers and investors in power and water sectors. ‘There is a fair and transparent competition in the sector that will further enhance investors’ appetite to invest in power and water projects,’ he added.
US company Oasys Water is exploring a sale of its forward osmosis (FO) technology IP after its cash-flow has run dry. The company became a much-needed success story for the niche FO technology, winning numerous industry awards and securing multiple rounds of funding. So what happened? The company was founded in 2008 by Rob McGinnis, developing technology which began at Yale University under Dr Menachem Elimelech. McGinnis then directed technology development as CTO until 2012. The firm closed $10 million in Series A financing in 2009 and raised a further $15 million in Series B funding five years later in 2013. Oasys drove forward forward osmosis technology development for industrial applications, namely the treatment of produced water in the US oil and gas market and zero liquid discharge projects (ZLD) in China. However, following the oil and gas market crash, the company decided to concentrate on the Chinese market with local partner, Beijing Woteer. Last summer, the two companies secured three further projects in China – with one almost five times the size of Oasys’ first commercial project at the Changxing power plant. The plan was to then create a merged company – Oasys+Woteer – and raise capital to support the new group’s growth strategy. However, at the end of October the company was informed that the financing was “no longer available”, reported the Water Desalination Report. Oasys Water was then forced to suspend operations and make staff reductions, with the business effectively out of cash. Jim Matheson, CEO of Oasys Water, reportedly said: “We are now working with out debt providers and creditors to manage the situation as we rapidly explore alternatives, including selling the Oasys technology, IP, manufacturing facilities and contracts, or finding a path to finance a restart of the company while working through the complex set of issues associated with such an abrupt change in plans.” The CEO said the company is working with Barclays Global Investment Banking Team to execute a “very rapid” asset sale, with bids due by the end of this year. Although Oasys Water was unavailable for comment, Matheson confirmed that the company was in the middle of a “tight sale process”. Oasys Water is not the only company to have struggled with scaling up a forward osmosis business, despite opting for the industrial route. UK firm Modern Water was another industry sweetheart touted for success with its FO technology. However, despite initial achievements in Gibraltar and Oman, the business struggled to really develop momentum with FO, particularly in China. The difference between the two companies and the saving grace of Modern Water has been its monitoring division, providing steadily increasing revenues. For example, in the first six months of 2015 monitoring division revenues increased by 7 percent to £1.56 million, compared to £1.46 the previous year. Both examples demonstrate that the forward osmosis market is an extremely difficult nut to crack. … (LINK)
Formerly the Public Authority for Electricity and Water, organised a site visit of its upcoming desalination project for mediapersons at Jebel Akhdar recently.
The project will provide potable water to the residents of Jebel Akhdar. Eng Ahmed Nasser al Abri, project director, Diam explained, “Work on the 1.76mn gallon-per-day-capacity project began in August this year and is now around 60 per cent complete. “When fully operational, it will supply water to consumers located some 38km away. The 120km network will cover all parts of Jebel Akhdar. Three reservoirs are being built with capacities ranging from 800m3 to 5,000m3 as part of the project.” The most populous place on the mountain is the town of Seeq which is 1,700m above sea level. There are a number of other villages and hamlets scattered around the area on elevations ranging from 500m to above 2,000m. “This project is particularly challenging because of the topography of the region. While full commercial operation is scheduled for March 2019. Work on the project will be completed by 2018-end,” he said.
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