Oman is planning to hold two initial public offerings (IPO) for power projects in the next two years, Bob Whitelaw, the chief executive at state-run Oman Power and Water Procurement Co (OPWP), has told the Oman Investment Forum.

The first IPO, planned for April 2012, is for 35 per cent of the 2 GW Sur power plant due to cost $1.5bn and to be commissioned in 2014. Phoenix Power Co won a 25-year build-own-operate agreement for the plant last year.

Phoenix Power is a consortium of Marubeni Corporation, Chubu Electric Power Co Inc, Qatar Electricity and Water Company and Oman’s Bahwan Engineering Group.

The second IPO, planned for April 2013, is for 35 per cent in the Batinah Power Company, for which the government has yet to close a deal with developers.

Last month, SMN Power Company floated 35 per cent of its share capital through an IPO. Four power companies already trade on the Omani bourse.

Whitelaw also announced that the government plans to build a 300 MW independent power project (IPP) in Salalah, in the south of Oman, said the Times of Oman. The gas fired power project will be awarded for development in the first quarter of 2013, and will go on stream in the first quarter of 2015, he said.

In Duqm, in central Oman, a contract for a gas fired power plant will be awarded in the second quarter of 2013, he added. The project could either be an island plant with a capacity of 100–200 MW or be connected to the Main Interconnected System (MIS) with a capacity of 500–1000 MW.

Average electricity demand in the main inter-connected system is projected to grow by 6-8 per cent each year for the next seven years in low demand scenario, or by 13-16 per cent under a high demand scenario, he said. In the Salalah region, demand is forecast to hit 719 MW by 2017, up from 359 MW in 2010.

The Sultanate has so far attracted 2.6bn rial ($6.8bn) private investment in its power sector, he added, according to the Times of Oman.

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