Power and water issues are inextricably linked in Oman due to the role desalination plays in providing drinking water to the population. Over the years, due to the robust industrialisation, rising population, increasing personal income, housing starts and continuing government investment in infrastructure projects, the Sultanate’s power and water demand has witnessed a rapid growth. This has led to ambitious programmes to cater to the growing demand for utilities, providing a host of opportunities for private and market sector investors alike.
Oman has a reputation as a trendsetter in the region’s power and water sector, having pioneered the deregulation and liberalisation of the industry to make it attractive for international developers to invest in this strategically vital sector. Policies have been promulgated for the way for privatization of power and water facilities. Focusing on efforts to optimize the utilities sector through regulations and moves towards privatisation. While this remains a work in progress, already a mixture of publicly owned and private companies are operating under the law’s regulation. As well as co-opting the private sector into working with it to address Oman’s growing power and water needs, the government has also made strident efforts to make the infrastructure more efficient. Oman’s utilities sector therefore looks set to retain its position as one of the fastest moving in the region.
SCOPE FOR THE UTILITIES SECTOR IN OMAN
As Oman’s power and water requirements continue to rise every year, the government is implementing a variety of measures to meet the demand of industry and the country’s growing population. In addition to increasing investment in generation capacity, upgrades and technological improvements are also necessary to maximise the efficiency of power and water transmission and distribution. The government’s decision to move away from publicly owned generation and transmission systems has resulted in a host of opportunities for the private sector.