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Sembcorp-led JV wins 500MW Manah II solar power project

19 Mar 2023 By GULAM ALI KHAN

Muscat – Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries announced that it has – through an 80 per cent-owned joint venture (JV) to be set up by its wholly-owned subsidiary Sembcorp Utilities with Jinko Power Technology Company – received an award by Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) to build, own and operate the Manah II Solar Independent Power Project (IPP) in Manah.

The 500MW Manah II solar plant is expected to be operational by 2025 and will be backed by a 20-year power purchase agreement with OPWP, Sembcorp said in a statement.

Earlier this month, the Authority for Public Services Regulation (APSR) granted its approval to OPWP to award Manah I and Manah II solar power projects to the international investors. The two projects, with power generation capacity of 500MW for each, will be located in the Wilayat of Manah in Dakhiliyah govornorate. Total cost of the two projects is expected to be more than RO300mn.

Sembcorp said that Manah II solar plant will augment its well-established presence and track record in Oman’s power and water desalination sector. The Salalah Independent Water and Power Plant, one of the most energy-efficient power and water plants in the Dhofar region, is 40 per cent owned by Sembcorp.

Andy Koss, CEO of UK and Middle East, Sembcorp Industries, said, “The Manah II Solar IPP will mark Sembcorp’s first renewables project in the Middle East. This project will leverage our strong network and presence for over ten years in the country built through Salalah Independent Water and Power Plant. We are delighted to be awarded this project and look forward to working with Jinko Power to support the global energy transition.”

Sembcorp said Manah II solar project is expected to be financed through a mix of internal cash resources and external bank borrowings. ‘It is not expected to have a material impact on the earnings per share, net asset value per share and leverage of Sembcorp for the financial year ending December 31, 2023.’

In a separate statement on its website, China-based Jinko Power confirmed that the 500MW Manah II solar project was awarded through a competitive bidding conducted by OPWP in September 2022 where Jinko Power participated along with its consortium partner Sembcorp Utilities.

The Manah II solar project shall be owned 20 per cent by Jinko Power and 80 per cent by Sembcorp Utilities, the company noted.

Charles Bai, president of Jinko Power International Business, said, “We are honoured and delighted with the award of this landmark project together with our partner Sembcorp. We value the trust put in us by OPWP and other stakeholders in Oman. This project marks our first entry into the Oman renewables market and is hopefully one of the many more to come in the country.”

Mothana Qteishat, managing director and head of bidding at Jinko Power International added, “This bid reaffirms once again Jinko’s ability to succeed in highly competitive tenders and deliver value to stakeholders through Jinko’s deep expertise across the full value chain of solar project development. We are delighted at having been awarded this bid and in line with our track record, are confident that this project will be delivered within budget and on time”

Oman’s government adopted a fuel diversification policy few years ago, which requires that renewable energy projects contribute at least 10 per cent of electricity generation output by 2025.

OPWP is focusing to expand its power generation capacities through solar and wind independent power projects (IPPs). One of the objectives of Oman’s National Energy Strategy is to derive at least 30 per cent of electricity from renewable energy projects by 2030.

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