Oman Shell on Tuesday launched its 25MW Qabas solar plant at Sohar Port and Freezone. The new solar plant will help the port and freezone in Sohar to become more sustainable and demonstrate the commercial benefits of solar power for industrial purposes.
Owned by Shell, Sohar Solar Qabas is the company’s first utility scale, photovoltaic (PV) solar project in the Middle East and in Oman, a press release said.
The plant is located on a 50-hectare site within SoharFreezone and consists of over 88,000 solar modules. The renewable electricity output from Sohar Solar Qabas is supplied to a large ferrochrome production facility, displacing the equivalent gas-fired power generation taken from the grid and avoiding more than 25,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
Oman Shell has future ambitions to facilitate solar energy development within the sultanate.
WalidHadi, Oman Shell’s vice president and country chairman, said, “This is an incredible project and the first of its kind for Shell in the Middle East and in Oman, while being in line with our ambition to become a net-zero emission energy business by 2050 or sooner. I thank the Omani government, particularly the Sohar Port and Freezone, for their collaboration and support on a project with potential for long-lasting economic value for the sultanate.”
H E Dr Ali binMasoud al Sunaidi, chairman of the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ) commented, “I would like to congratulate Oman Shell and SoharFreezone for inaugurating this solar project in Sohar.”
The facility is an important milestone and it aligns with Oman Vision 2040. It is the first step for OPAZ’s plan for solar projects equating to 1 gigawatt inSohar. This will help free up natural gas for other industrial use.”
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