Oman Shell has commissioned a 25MW solar project called the Sohar Solar Qabas solar plant. The Sohar Solar Qabas project will be owned by Shell and is the company’s first utility scale, photovoltaic solar project in the Middle East as well as in Oman.
The location of the plant is at a site within Sohar Freezone, northern Oman, which has an area of 50 hectare. The project consists of over 88,000 solar modules. The power produced is being supplied to a large ferrochrome production facility. The project is expected to help the port and freezone in Sohar to become more sustainable. This electric power generation is expected to displace the emissions equivalent to more than 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
The project completion was achieved within time and budget, despite the covid-19 pandemic. Oman Shell plans to further facilitate solar energy development within the country. The development of the project is in line with the Public Authority of Special Economic Zones and Free Zones’ plan for solar projects with a cumulative capacity of about 1 GW in Sohar.
Oman’s National Energy Strategy aims to source 30 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The nation plans to expand its electricity generation capacities through renewable independent power projects. Oman also has an initiative called ‘Sahim’ which aims to install small-scale solar panels on residential and commercial buildings.