Oman has announced that its under development solar power plant, Ibri II, is expected to begin operations in the middle of 2021. The project is being built at a cost of $400m near Ibri, the capital of the Dhahirah Governorate, and will generate about 1,300-gigawatt hours of power annually.
Billed as the largest solar plant in the country, the project is expected to power up to 33,000 homes and remove 340,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from the country’s footprint per annum, according to a report by the Oman Observer.
Construction on the power plant began in the second quarter of 2020 and once completed, it will supply power to the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company. The project is being developed by Acwa Power and two Kuwaiti companies – Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) and Alternative Energy Projects Company – with funding being decided on a build, own, operate basis, with a 70:30 debt to equity ratio.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will offer a 16.5-year loan along with Bank Muscat, Riyad Bank, Warba Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Siemens Bank.
The project is part of the sultanate’s efforts to diversify its sources of energy, which are currently mainly sourced from fossil-fuels such as oil and natural gas, which are in turn part of the country’s Tanfeedh plans for economic expansion, the report noted.