Power Grid eyes investment in Oman

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Dubai, Nov 8 (UNI) A delegation representing India's power transmission giant the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) is eying possibilities to set up joint ventures in Oman in its burgeoning power sector.

The three-member delegation, comprising two Executive Directors of PGCIL and a key official of India's Power Ministry, met with representatives of a number of private utilities and power sector contractors during a visit last week.

Hailed as one of the largest transmission utilities in the world, the PGCIL handles around 45 per cent of the total power generated in India on its vast transmission network covering the length and breadth of the country.

The corporation has a pan-India presence with around 68,000 circuit kilometres of transmission network and 115 EHVAC and HVDC sub-stations with a total transformation capacity of 75,000 MVA.

Significantly, the visit comes on the heels of the recent announcement by the Omani government that it has initiated steps to privatise the country's main interconnected power transmission system -- the first such privatisation of an existing power grid in the West Asia.

Last week, Mohammed bin Abdullah al Mahrouqi, Chairman of the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW), revealed that a Lead Adviser has been appointed to oversee the privatisation of the state-owned Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC), which owns and operates the Main Interconnected Transmission System.

A request for proposals (RfPs), inviting potential international bidders to submit expressions of interest, is due to be floated in the first quarter of 2009, with the privatisation process set for completion by the first quarter of 2010, the Oman Observer daily said.

OETC, one of several subsidiary companies created by the unbundling and restructuring of the power and related water sector, operates an elaborate transmission system serving Muscat Governorate and the Batinah, Dhahirah, Interior and Sharqiya regions.

The grid comprises around 600 km of 220KV transmission circuits, 2,700 km of 132KV transmission circuits, around 35 grid stations, and over 10,700 installed transformers.

For PGCIL, the visit was also an opportunity to showcase its expertise in providing consultancy services to the local power sector.

The corporation's breadth of expertise covers design, engineering, procurement, inspection, project management, construction supervision, human resource development, and operation and maintenance of power utilities.

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