Oman to spend $6.5bn on water infrastructure works.
Oman's projected capital expenditure for the expansion of the country's water infrastructure networks till the year 2040 is estimated at $6.5bn (RO2.5bn).
Guillaume Merere, planning manager at Oman's Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW), said the investment will partly go towards the development of new networks to serve green-field areas being added to the water grid, while the balance will be used to finance the cost of renewing old transmission and distribution infrastructure.
According to a report by The Oman Observer , the infrastructure plan highlights PAEW's "ambitious" strategy to design, develop and execute an efficient and secure water delivery system aimed at serving the country's growing population and diversifying Oman's economy.
The National Water Sector Master Plan includes a blueprint, spanning 25 years, for expanding and reinforcing the country's water transmission and distribution infrastructure. New water infrastructure is expected to cost $389.6m (RO150m) annually over the initial 10 to 15 years of the masterplan.
The total length of the distribution networks following the investments is expected to grow three-fold to 30,000km by the year 2040, according to Merere. Up to 20,000km will be a part of PAEW's Main Interconnected System (MIS).
In December 2014, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), a global organisation aimed at promoting sustainable business collaborated with PAEW released a report stating Oman should Oman should give greater consideration to using solar power for future water desalination projects.
According to the report, solar energy has become an attractive option for water desalination following a steep drop in the cost of photo-voltaic (PV) based systems for electricity generation and is particularly competitive in rural areas where diesel is the primary fuel for electricity generation.
The report, entitled Sultanate of Oman - Renewables Readiness Assessment , particularly highlighted the potential for solar energy based water desalination in the northern areas of the Sultanate.
"There is potential in implementing pilot desalination plants that use solar energy in rural areas (North Oman, Musandam coastal areas) where the demand for water is very low and the water supplied through ships transport from desalination plants, is economically feasible considering diesel price and cost of Operation & Maintenance (O&M) of the ships," the report said.
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