According to Dr. Ali Masoud al Sunaidy (Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones’ Chairman), the Special Economic Zone at Duqm, (SEZAD), is poised for the greatest contribution to Oman’s energy sustainability goals.
Dr. Al Sunaidy highlighted the importance of SEZAD in the nation’s green hydrogen strategy in an interview. This interview highlights the crucial role of OPAZ, its constituent SEZs, and free zones in allocating large swathes of ground for the downstream, upstream, and midstream components of the growing portfolio of green hydrogen projects that are being implemented across the Sultanate of Oman.
Duqm will be the largest contributor to sustainability on a larger scale. 250 sq km have been allocated for solar and wind farms that will produce green ammonia and hydrogen for local consumption. Two licenses have already be granted. One license is in the process of implementing a 300MW plant, while the other is undergoing detailed studies to determine if it is possible to build a larger one.” Dr. Al Sunaidy explained.
Green Hydrogen and Chemicals Company, a joint venture of the UK unit at Indian energy developer ACME Group and Scatec ASA in Norway, announced last month that it is developing Oman’s first green energy venture in the SEZ. Phase 1 aims to produce 100,000 tonnes of green ammonia per year. The second phase will see green ammonia production grow 12-fold to approximately 1.2 million tonnes per year.
Dr. Al Sunaidy pointed out that a revision of SEZAD’s master plan is underway, which will allow for the creation of utility corridors and other infrastructure in support of major green energy investments.
“We are currently revising the master plan to build large enough new corridors through the SEZ at Duqm. This will allow electricity (electrons), to be transported into the city, and vice versa. Pipe corridors will also allow for the transfer of green hydrogen molecules), if it is produced in the concession areas around Duqm. It can then be brought into the Port area to either be used locally or converted into green ammonia to export. These same corridors will permit the pumping and transport of desalinated waters from the beaches to the locations of solar or wind farms,” he said.