SOHAR Port & Freezone has entered into a land lease agreement with Shell Development Oman (SDO) as it seeks to tap into the country’s renewable energy potential.
The agreement means that businesses in the Sohar Freezone could be powered by solar photovoltaic (PV) projects instead of gas.
“Sustainability is one of our key values in driving development at Sohar Freezone and this partnership with Shell will create solar powered solutions that are the first-of-its-kind in the country,” said Mark Geilenkirchen, CEO of Sohar Port and Freezone.
“This also marks an incredible milestone and the first step in our proactive long-term programme, that we have already begun implementing, to transform our 4,500-hectare development into a ‘green Freezone’,” he added. “We hope that the changes we are implementing today will encourage current clients and future investors to adopt cleaner technologies and sustainable practices tomorrow.”
Sohar Freezone will allocate 600-hectares of land for solar plants under development, with capacities ranging from 10MW up to 40MV.
The pioneering project of 25MW will be focused on providing dedicated supply to Al Tamman Indsil Ferrochrome, and the entire development will create long lasting economic value for the nation and the companies within the Freezone.
“Shaping a more sustainable energy future for Oman is everybody’s responsibility,” said Chris Breeze, country chairman, Shell Oman. “It requires us to work towards reducing emissions, tackling climate change, and ultimately changing the way energy is produced and efficiently consumed. Shell is proud to be involved in Oman’s energy transition.”
"These solar PV projects will free up natural gas resources for better economic use, support the green agenda of the Sohar freezone, and enable further economic development in Sohar, by unlocking large scale solar opportunities,” he added.