Under the patronage of His Excellency Sayyid Hamoud bin Faisal al Busaidi, Omani Minister of Interior, and in the presence of His Excellency Eng. Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, Saudi Minister of Investment, a consortium consisting of ACWA Power – a leading developer, investor, and operator of power generation, desalinated water, and green hydrogen plants – Gulf Investment Corporation (“GIC”), and Alternative Energy Projects Co. (“AEPC”), inaugurated Ibri 2, the first solar independent power project (IPP) to be launched under the country’s national renewable energy programme and connected to the main national grid. The consortium will produce renewable energy over a 15-year period for the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP).
The project is a significant step towards achieving the Oman 2040 Vision, which includes 20% of renewable energy production by 2030 and up to 39% by 2040, as well as protecting natural resources in the Sultanate. Ibri 2 also represents a robust partnership between the public and private sectors and embodies another example of the Sultanate’s ability to attract foreign direct investment within the framework of a clear and transparent legal, legislative, and regulatory environment under the umbrella of the Omani Power Sector Regulation and Privatisation Law.
At an investment of US$417 million (160 million Omani rials), Ibri 2 is Oman’s largest utility-scale renewable energy project. The project was developed on a build, own, operate (BOO) basis, which utilizes solar photovoltaic technology to generate 500 MW of renewable power. Construction was completed in 13 months only at the highest health and safety standards, with 5 million safe man-hours, despite disruptions to the supply chain as a result of the pandemic.
Mohammad Abunayyan, ACWA Power Chairman said, “As a company that is driving the transition globally, we are extremely proud to play a key role in supporting the Sultanate of Oman’s ambitious Vision 2040 energy transition goals. Since our market entry into Oman in 2011, we have brought in significant foreign direct investment, because we believe strongly in its vision and future. Together with our partners Gulf Investment Corporation and Alternative Energy Projects Co., we have leveraged our combined strengths in investments, industry expertise, and technological know-how to achieve the rapid and successful completion of the milestone IBRI 2 project, despite challenging conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government of Saudi Arabia for their relentless support in enabling the development of the project in record time.”
“As we look ahead, partnerships, and solutions like we have introduced at Ibri 2, will be crucial in solving the real-world problems associated with climate change, and ensure that together we realize a greener future,” Abunayyan added.
At peak generation capacity, the plant output will be enough to supply an estimated 50,000 homes with electricity and will offset 340,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year. In addition to efficiently delivering clean energy to the main national grid, the Ibri 2 PV IPP project will create tangible socioeconomic value keeping local content in mind, offering local graduates on-the-job training and job opportunities. As part of the project supply chain, two local start-ups—Taj Middle East and Diaa Energy—were contracted to build mechanical installations. Additionally, the project’s operations and maintenance team has achieved a 100% Omanisation rate.
Eng. Yaqoob Saif Al Kiyumi, CEO of the Oman Energy and Water Procurement Company said, “The milestone project is a remarkable achievement that delivers on the national priorities set by Oman Vision 2040, which entail environmental conservation, utilization of natural resources, the development of governorates, and the integration of the private sector. Ibri 2 will be a turning point for launching similar projects in the field of renewable energy, and similarly, we are currently developing two solar plants in the Governorate of Ad Dakhiliyah with a total capacity of 1,000 MW, in addition to wind projects in the governorates of North Al Sharqiyah and Al Wusta.”
Eng. Yahya bin Muhammad Al-Rawahi, Chief Executive Officer of Shams Ad-Dhahirah Generating Company said, “I am truly proud to be a part of an exceptional Omani and international team that has successfully achieved this milestone in an incredibly short span of 13 months during peak COVID pandemic times and amid global supply chain disruptions. With Ibri 2, we have demonstrated immensely strong project development capabilities, as this is the largest solar PV power plant in my country, that also incorporates the most advanced technological solutions in the world. I am confident that it will lead the way in contributing significantly towards Oman’s clean energy ambitions for the future.”
Located in Ad-Dhahirah Governorate, Ibri 2 PV IPP comprises approximately 1.5 million bi-facial solar panels and extends over an area of 13 million square metres.
ACWA Power has had a presence in Oman since 2011, bringing over US$2.6billion Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country over the last decade. Along with Ibri 2 PV IPP, the company has an additional seven projects in operation or in development in the Sultanate.