Sohar 2 and Barka 3 are twin facilities with 744MW power generation capacity each. Both plants represent a total investment of $1.7bn. Al Batinah Power and Al Suwadi Power’s initial public offerings (IPOs) are expected to open in May 2014. Oommen John P reports
Two large state-of-the-art facilities- Al Batinah Power (Sohar 2 power plant) and Al Suwadi Power (Barka 3 power plant) which are together currently Oman’s largest operating power companies in terms of installed electrical capacity- were officially inaugurated recently marking a new chapter in the Sultanate’s electricity sector.
Sohar 2 and Barka 3 are twin facilities with 744MW power generation capacity each. Both plants represent a total investment of $1.7bn, and total installed capacity of 1,488MW, accounting for about 27 per cent of Oman’s main interconnected system’s (MIS) total installed capacity of approximately 5589MW.
The Sohar 2 and Barka 3 projects were successfully completed and the plant commenced full commercial operations on schedule on April 3 and 4, 2013 respectively. The EPC contractors were Siemens AG of Germany and GS Engineering and Construction Corporation of Korea.
Al Batinah Power’s Sohar 2 power plant, located within the Sohar Industrial Port area, was officially inaugurated by HE Mohammed Bin Salim Al Tobi, Minister of Environment and Climate Affairs, while the Barka 3 power plant was inaugurated by HE Ahmed Bin Abdullah Al Shuhi, Minister of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources.
Also attending the inauguration was Willem Van Twembeke, CEO and president of GDF Suez Energy International, officials from Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW), government officials and others.
According to HE Mohammed Bin Abdullah al Mahrooqi, chairman of PAEW, “The Sohar 2 power plant and its twin facility Barka 3, are the outcome of the execution of the visionary policy of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said towards developing and enhancing the provision of electricity for all citizens and residents in all the governorates of Oman.”
“The Sultanate is keen on meeting the rising demand. The Sur power plant, the largest in the Sultanate, will be commissioned in a few weeks. Projects such as Sur project, the Sohar 2 plant, and the Barka 3 Power Plant will help in meeting the electricity demand of the Sultanate.” With the scheduled launch of the Sur plant, the country’s total installed capacity will reach 7,150 MW, which will be sufficient until 2018, the PAEW chairman said. Further, tender for the Salalah power plant is expected to be floated this year, he disclosed to OER.
Twembeke said “Oman holds a very special place at GDF Suez not just for the business, but for the long relationship and for the deep respect and values that we share with our stakeholders in Oman.” GDF Suez is the biggest shareholder in Al Batinah Power and Al Suwadi Power. In Oman, GDF Suez has direct and indirect ownership interest in six of the 11 contracted projects by the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company in the MIS.
IPOs in May
Al Batinah Power and Al Suwadi Power’s initial public offerings (IPOs) are expected to open in May 2014 and will be completed before the Holy Month of Ramadan. “The IPO of both companies is scheduled to open in May subject to approvals from Capital Market Authority (CMA). The shareholders of both companies will offload 35 per cent of their stake in the IPOs,” Jurgen De Vyt, CEO of Al Batinah Power company and Przemek Lupa, CEO of Al Suwadi Power company informed. “The Sultanate is a strategic country in the region for GDF Suez,” Jurgen said.