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Siemens eyes $100m switchgear contract


Markus Strohmeier CEO, Siemens Oman

Muscat: Siemens, a global giant in electronics and electrical engineering, is eyeing a contract for supplying two 400-kV switchgears worth $100 million to Oman Electricity and Transmission Company (OETC) for building the massive Sur-Jahloot transmission system.

The Tender Board, on behalf of OETC, has already received bids from eight international and local firms for switchgears — one each in Sur and Jahloot — for evacuating power from the 2000MW independent power project coming up in Sur.

"Oman has decided to go for 400-kV transmission grid for evacuating power from the largest power plant coming up in Sur. Now Oman is entering the new arena of 400kV level (from 220kV), which is a prestigious voltage level and the highest one in the region. We are participating in the tender," Markus Strohmeier, chief executive officer of Siemens Oman, told Times of Oman.

The other bidders include Larsen & Toubro, Bahwan Engineering Company, Galfar Engineering and Contracting, Saudi National Contracting and ABB. The OETC has already started work on transmission lines since these lines have to be ready, once the power plant starts early generation, which is expected by next year.
Strohmeier said the investment in transmission lines in the country will be more in the coming years, as Oman lacks a nation-wide power transmission grid. "That is the next big thing (expansion of transmission network) to happen in Oman."

Strohmeier also said that his company is participating in the construction of three independent power projects — 750MW Barka 3, 750MW Sohar 2 and 2000MW Sur — in Oman by supplying gas turbines. "Siemens is the EPC consortium leader for Barka 3 and Sohar 2 for the IPP developer GDF Suez consortium. We have delivered the heart of the facility called the power island, which consists of two gas turbines and a steam turbine — with a total generation capacity of 750MW."

The Siemens official said the combined capacity of three power projects under construction (3,500MW) is equivalent to the peak summer demand of the country two years ago. He also said that Siemens is looking at opportunities in the enhanced oil recovery projects of oil and gas companies. PDO recently said that it is investing $26 billion over the next five years, while British oil giant plans to invest $24 billion for developing block 61 gas block. Since many of these investments are in enhanced oil recovery projects, there will be good demand for captive power plants. "So, we believe that the growth of oil and gas industry will have over proportional demand on power infrastructure," Strohmeier noted.

Siemens is currently supplying a 36MW gas turbine for Musandam gas plant, which is implemented by Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production (OOCEP). "In Mukhaizna, we have supplied seven compressors for injecting steam to oil wells." He said Siemens has a unique technology called 'carbon (CO2) capture technology' for enhanced oil recovery projects. "PDO is now looking at how much CO2 can be captured from their power plants in oil fields."

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