Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) has published its outlook for power and desalinated water supply to 2023.

The report details the expected growth in demand for water in the country’s five water zones, and outlines current procurement and construction activity. Additionally, it notes a shift from use of multi-stage flash (MSF) technology towards reverse osmosis (RO).

In the country’s Main Interconnected System (MIS) water zone, demand is expected to grow at 5 per cent a year to 1.1 million m3/d in 2023. In Sharqiyah, the projection is for 7 per cent growth to 115,000 m3/d, and in Dhofar the expectation is 9 per cent growth to 231,000 m3/d. Oman’s five water zones are the MIS, Sharqiyah, Musandam, Duqm, and Dhofar.

OPWP is required to consider co-location of power and water projects when planning new capacity in order to benefit from cost savings traditionally associated with pairing power generation and thermal desalination. However, the report details how proposals are now favouring RO technology over MSF.

“In the case of Salalah IWPP and Barka II IWPP, bidders proposed to use RO rather than MSF, although the procurement specifications did not specify it. OPWP expects that future plants will also propose RO due to its economic advantage. OPWP is currently considering that there is a need both for power and water desalination capacity in 2022, and will consider the merits of co-location. An evaluation of sites and infrastructure requirements in underway in 2017,” the report states.

The report also covers the country’s two main electricity systems, MIS and Dhofar Power System; as well as Ad Duqm and Musandam standalone systems. In the MIS, peak demand for energy is expected to grow at 6 per cent a year to 8,960 MW in 2023.

The report gives a run-down of current live water projects in Oman:

Main Interconnected System (MIS)

Qurayyat IWP, new desalination capacity of 200,000 m3/d in 2017

Ghubrah IWPP, retiring desalination units in March 2018

Barka IWPP contract extension to 2021 (102,000 m3/d reverse osmosis)

Barka IV IWP new desalination capacity of 281,000 m3/d in 2018

Solar III IWP new desalination capacity of 250,000 m3/d in 2018

Ghubrah III IWP new desalination capacity of 300,000 m3/d in 2022

North Batinah region, new desalination capacity of 200,000 m3/d in 2022

Solar IWPP, contract expires 2022 


Sur II IWP additional capacity of 48,000 m3/d now operational

Aseelah, additional 10,000 m3/d of temporary capacity in 2017

Aseelah IWP, 80,000 m3/d capacity in 2020


Salalah III IWP new capacity of 100,000 m3/d contract awards in 2017, for a commercial operation date in 2020

Investigations into a site for a third IWP, potentially to begin operations in 2022

 Ad Duqm

Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW) and Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm (SEZAD) are considering a proposal for water supply by local utility Marafiq

OPWP procurement of DuQm IWP is on hold


OPWP has initiated procurement of Khasab IWP, to begin operations in 2021