AER announces its Forward Work Program for 2018

Muscat - 

The Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER) on Tuesday announced the launch of its 'Forward Work Program' for 2018, which focuses on transparency and enhancing efficiency in Oman's electricity sector.

Speaking at a press conference, Qais bin Saud al Zakwani, executive director of AER, said, “The authority is pleased to announce the Forward Work Program for this year which focuses on developing the electricity sector and supporting related companies in their business aspects. It will also provide studies and strategies for the government in the economic operations of these sectors.”

He said AER will be reviewing international best practices to support the introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) and public recharge stations in the sultanate. Zakwani announced a number of programmes which the authority will adopt to improve transparency and efficiency in the country, most important of them are solar power initiatives and a host of other environment friendly measures including generating power from waste and development of local energy audit service companies.

AER, in coordination with Oman Power and Water Procurement Co (OPWP) and the Oman Environmental Services Holding Co (Be'ah), plans to start preparatory works to asses the possibility of procuring waste to energy projects. “We intend to build on the considerable work undertaken by Be'ah with regards to waste to energy projects and establish the framework, including the project definition and competition process to facilitate the implementation of such projects in the future,” Zakwani said.

He said the authority is also planning to take other steps such as reviewing Oman's electrical standards and regulations, conducting health and safety audits of Oman Electricity Transmission Co (OETC), OPWP and Dhofar Power Co in 2018. Moreover, the AER would also be taking price control review for OETC and OPWP this year. “Current OETC and OPWP price controls are due to expire on December 31, 2018. New prices controls are therefore required to be set for January 1, 2019,” Zakwani said.

As part of the OETC price control review, Zakwani said the AER intends to asses options for evolving OETC's charging basis, taking into account a number of developments including the recent implementation of cost reflective tariffs, potential developments to the grid interconnecting the MIS, Duqm, Dhofar and PDO systems and the introduction of an electricity spot market.

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