Madayn- Oman’s very own Infrastructure Support

Madayn- Oman’s very own Infrastructure Support

According to the European Commission, the 17th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG17), aims to increase the international cooperation and strengthen global partnerships at governmental level, including through public-private partnerships and the involvement of civil society.

The Sultanate of Oman constantly looks to improve the standard of living and meet the economic demands of the growing population within the country. For this reason, the Public Establishment of Industrial Estates, now known as Madayn was established in the year 1993.

The Rusayl Industrial Estate was established in 1983 and is situated 45 kilometers from the capital. Being the first of its kind, it began with 12 factories and has now grown to support around 211 factories dealing with chemicals, batteries, electrical fittings, building materials, fibre optic cables, foodstuff, textiles, garments, stationery and paints.

With the success of the the Rusayl Industrial Estate, Madayn was established to manage and operate industrial cities in Sur, Suhar, Raysut, Nizwa, Buraimi, Rusayl, Samail, Ibri, Al Mudhaibi, Mahas, Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM) and Al Mazunah Free Zone, making up 9 industrial cities, 1 technology park and 1 free zone. 

With a workforce of 61,213 workers and 2,313 projects in various stages as of the end of 2019, Madayn is thriving and growing at a steady rate. These projects come under various categories including-industrial, commercial, service and logistical projects, technical projects and finally, housing and real estate projects making up 1% of the total.

Various initiatives have been implemented by Madayn over the years. The ‘Made in Oman’ campaign focuses on supporting local businesses and artisans by encouraging residents and citizens to shop locally. Participating in Gulfood 2021, Madayn hopes to identify new investors and business partners both across the GCC and worldwide.

The Madayn Research Chair for the Development of Industrial Estates and Free zones was founded in 2019 to aid with the monitoring of the industrial sector and to collaborate with members of the academic community to further understand the growth in the country. The Chair guides and provides support to various members and parties concerning Oman’s development on various themes.

Masar Service Center was inaugurated in December 2020 to offer integrated services to investors and the business community to obtain the necessary documentation required for business opportunities countrywide. 

Madayn also launched the 'Madayn eMagazine’ in November 2020, to provide information on Oman’s economy, benefiting various members and contributors of the business society, particularly the manufacturing sector.

Recently in the month of August 2021, three professional support services-Industrial Innovation Centre, National Business Centre and Madayn Industrial Academy had been merged under the name ‘Madayn Industrial Innovation Academy’. After thorough studies, this step had been taken to provide quality guidance to budding entrepreneurs and researchers interested in this field.

Oman Investment and Development Holding Company (Mubadrah) and Al Shumookh Investment and Services Company have partnered and established ‘Mizah’ in 2019 to promote investments into the Sultanate of Oman. It serves as the marketing division of Madayn to integrate various digital services for the benefit of the community.

Various agreements have also been signed to further elevate the Omani markets. A nano city project has been agreed upon between Madayn, Shumookh Investment and Services along with Advanced Universal Tech LLC.The Oman Nano City in Sur Industrial City aims to create new jobs, attract investors and promote nanotechnology in the Sultanate.

The Madayn Vision 2040 was structured in line with Oman Vision 2040 to work closely with the industries in terms of growth and development while retaining Oman’s identity as the country  moves ahead into a more industrialized future.

As part of the vision, Madayn aims to complete the development of industrial cities and add complexes in several cities. This also includes the upcoming Motcar Project which is an integrated city specializing in car trading, spare parts and related services within the MENA region to be located in Suhar Industrial Estate.

With Madayn’s vision being 'Enhance Oman’s position as a leading regional center of manufacturing, ICT, innovation and entrepreneurship excellence’, they are paving the way for the excellence steadily towards the top.

For a downloadable copy: Madayn Oman

Diversifying Energy Mix in Oman-Dhofar Wind Project

Diversifying Energy Mix in Oman-Dhofar Wind Project

Oman’s plans on diversifying the energy sources within the country has come a long way with Miraah Solar Project using advanced technologies to meet the energy demand in the Amal oilfield,

located in the South of Oman as well as the various other efforts being taken by the government in this regard.

The first large-scale wind farm in the GCC region had been delivered by Masdar, an energy company based in Abu Dhabi. Construction on this 50MW project began in 2018 and commercial operation started in late 2019, with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) fully funding the wind farm.The Dhofar Wind Project has also gone on to achieve international recognition winning the ‘Wind Power Project of the Year” award at the Asian Power Awards in 2019.

This award winning farm is located in Harweel near the Thumrait plateau in the Dhofar Governorate. Thumrait was preferred as it has a lower elevation, thereby having a larger air density and higher wind power. With minimal direction change and almost steady wind coming from the south of Oman, Thumrait was chosen among the rest of the locations for the wind farm.

Consisting of 13 wind turbines each with an electricity generation capacity of 3.8MW, developed and provided by GE Renewable Energy with infrastructure and electrical transmission facilities taken care by Spain’s TSK,  each wind turbine has rotor diameter of 130m and a tower height of 85m.Keeping the weather conditions in mind, a gas-insulated transformer power substation and a 132kV transmission line was built for the domestic power demands.

Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) is to purchase the generated power from the Rural Areas Electricity Company of Oman (Tanweer), who will then be responsible for the power plant on completion of the project.

The farm is expected to generate enough electricity to power 16,000 residences, enough for about 7% of Dhofar Governorate’s total electricity needs and is likely to reduce an estimated 111,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. 

According to the OPWP’s 7-Year Outlook Report for the 2019-2025 timeframe, wind energy output depends mainly on seasons and is available in the evening and night than compared to the daytime, with average wind speeds of 7-8 meters per second.

Recently in the month of July 2021, the Dhofar Wind Project achieved a new generation peak of 30GWh, the highest power generation since its commercial operation in 2019 with an average wind speed of 12.6 meters per second.

Future plans for the low-carbon energy sourcing have been considered in smaller schemes in Sharqiyah, Al Duqm and Dhofar Governorates, including a wind-based Independent Power Project (IPP) of around 100MW in Sharqiyah South Governorate to be completed by 2023.Offshore wind farms in the Arabian Sea are also being taken into consideration as part of the diversification process.

By 2025, the Sultanate of Oman aims to produce at least 20% of the energy required for the development of the economy from non-carbon sources, in line with the country’s efforts alongside the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to reach 30% clean electricity by 2030.

For a downloadable copy:Dhofar Wind Farm

Miraah Solar Project- A Glimpse of one of the World’s Largest Solar Plants

Miraah Solar Project- A Glimpse of one of the World’s Largest Solar Plants

With a global ranking of 27th in the world for gas production, Oman is constantly growing and adapting with new technologies and methods being tested on a regular basis in the field of renewable energy.

The oil and gas sector is considered to be a major industry in the Sultanate of Oman with the government accounting for 29.16% of the total gas production and the remaining for oil production and export.With reservoirs of easily extracted light oil being rapidly depleted, heavy crude oil is the only option but requires heating of the reservoirs to reduce oil viscosity and allow it to be pumped to the surface.Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) technologies are being used to bring out this oil which has further led to increase in energy demands in the sector.Greenhouse gases being emitted are also a cause of concern.

Steam is injected into the oilfield at a high pressure to make it less viscous and flow better, thereby making it easier to be drawn at the surface. This process, also known as thermal method of recovery using steam injection, allows the oil to be recovered more efficiently at such a large scale.

The Miraah Project located at the Amal oilfield in the south of Oman, is a 1,021 MW solar thermal facility and is one of the world’s biggest solar plants with regard to peak energy output.The project generates 6,000 tons of solar steam for internal oil production, mainly used for meeting the EOR requirements on the field.

The project comprises of 36 glasshouse modules using large mirrors in line with GlassPoint’s solution to concentrate sunlight and boil oilfield water to steam. The entire set up is enclosed in greenhouse structure to protect the system components from sand and wind and also enables the use of thin and lightweight components, providing better cost savings, reducing material usage and enhancing performance when compared to the exposed solar structures elsewhere.The construction began in October 2015 with the first four units being completed and ready for use in February 2018 with a total capacity of over 100MW delivering 660 tonnes of steam per day. 

The enclosed trough technology is a concentrating solar power (CSP) technology which uses parabolic mirrors to focus the sunlight and harness energy. A major advantage of using CSP technology is that it can be installed in addition to the existing fossil fuel power plants, allowing for increased efficiency without major changes in the plant and systems setup. This harnessed energy boils the water in once-through steam generators (OTSG) to produce steam.In addition, the glasshouse roof is strategically placed approximately 6m above ground level, thereby reducing the soiling rate by 50% compared to the use of conventional solar designs where mirrors are placed 1m above ground level.

Miraah, Arabic for mirror, aims to generate real In-Country Value, creating job opportunities for Omanis and securing an overall gas savings for the country. It has the potential to create new opportunities in supply chain development and manufacturing with plans on localizing the supply chain under development. The project also aims to save 5.6 trillion British Thermal Units (BTUs) of natural gas yearly, which can be used to power residences for around 209,000 people in Oman. It is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by over 300,000 tons.

Oman is certainly on the global renewable energy map with the development of this project. Coming third in the CSP technology globally after Spain and the United States of America, the country is moving towards adopting more efficient ways to meet the growing energy demands and using the natural gas being saved for industrial development and power generation in line with SDG7: Affordable and clean energy.

For a downloadable copy:Miraah Solar Project Oman

Al Hajar Al Gharbi Star Lights- Oman’s Natural Dark Sky Reserve

Al Hajar Al Gharbi Star Lights- Oman’s Natural Dark Sky Reserve

Since the year 2019, the Al Hajar Al Gharbi mountain range in the Al Dakhiliyah Governorate has been given the status of a natural reserve. Located in Jabal Shams with peaks towering up to 3009 metres and spread across 387 square kilometers, this particular area is a haven for astronomers, star gazers and photographers owing to the area’s clear skies, free from the lighting effects of the urban population.

What truly makes this special is that this is not just another natural reserve for protecting the local species of fauna and flora. This is the first reserve in the Gulf region to protect a area from the detrimental effects of light pollution, thereby promoting star gazing tourism and allowing photographers and nature enthusiasts to capture the wonders of the world above without the disturbance of the artificial light from nearby settlements.

Article 1 and article 2 of the Royal Decree no. (40/2019) allows for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA) to issue regulations concerning its establishment and work with the concerned authorities in laying out the guidelines for its management and upkeep. This has also allowed them to work wonders in the area by protecting the endangered Juniper trees, the Arabian Oryx and the birds that frequent the area.

Some other steps have also been taken to reduce light pollution within the country. The Smart Street lighting project has been initiated with support from Oman Municipality, IMTAC and Signify.

This project is said to use 13,000 smart LED lights and 370 smart remote controls to give up to 85% energy savings, reduce carbon emissions and also cut down on maintenance costs.

The map taken from lightpollutionmap.info shows the areas affected by light pollution using NOAA/EOG VIIRS, World Atlas 2015, Aurora prediction, observatories, clouds and SQM/SQC overlays.

Light pollution is usually overlooked by many and not considered to be a serious problem. According to a National Geographic article, light pollution is the the effect of bad lighting design, allowing artificial light to focus outward and upward, instead of shining downward.This in turn affects humans, wildlife behavior, astronomical studies and the economy. 

Also known as photo pollution or luminous pollution, it occurs in various forms.Light trespass, also known as spill light is when light unintentionally illuminates the surrounding areas where its not wanted or needed.Glare is another common effect which when bright light, more than what are eyes are used to, creates a discomfort in our visual sensation.Sky glow occurs when artificial lights are emitted into the atmosphere and create a dome-like orange glow over the night sky.And finally, light clutter is the excessive grouping of bright lights mainly from advertisement sign boards causing confusion and distraction.

Although it may seem to be unimportant, the effects photo pollution has on us is manifold. Our body has developed to a set pattern of a 12 hour day/night cycle. The cycle is part of our circadian rhythm and is greatly affected by the presence of light, disrupting the production of melatonin which is responsible for regulating metabolism and our immune responses.

Wildlife like birds and turtles depend on the natural light to move and become disoriented with the presence of multiple artificial lights leading to thousands of unnatural deaths.

Similarly, so much money goes into powering the street lights we use, when around 30% of the light emitted actually travels upward. More lights are used to power the street, when shielding fixtures could be used to allow light to fall where required, thereby reducing the number of street lights and the power consumption along the street.

Lighting management plan is essential in every developed and developing countries. Simply turning off lights when not in use, using shielding fixtures, switching to warm lighting LEDs and using blinds on windows can help reduce the light being directed to the atmosphere. Human health and so much more can benefit when taken seriously, consequently helping achieve SDG 15-Life on Land

For a downloadable copy: Al Hajar al Gharbi-SDG 15

Weather Modification: Cloud Seeding in Oman

Weather Modification: Cloud Seeding in Oman

With the decline in water resources in the country, experts have been trying various methods to find sustainable water resources and increase rainfall to meet the growing demands of the population.A weather modification method known as cloud seeding was introduced after various trials over the eastern and western Hajar mountains.

The Al Hajar Mountains, an important source of groundwater for both the UAE and Oman, creates two very different climatic zones on either side, separating the coastal plains from the western desert area.With peaks reaching up to 3075 meters along the eastern coast of the peninsula, the vegetation includes scrublands and woodlands at the bottom and fruit cultivation being carried out in the valleys. Energy fluxes occur due to the contrasting landscape along with the presence of altocumulus middle-altitude (clouds in the middle levels of air), atmospheric conditions, sea breezes and convective developments, thereby triggering thunderstorms.

Among the four weather systems present, summer was chosen as the best season for testing weather modification methods as convective clouds during this time hold the best capacities for cloud seeding. The wind convergence in the area also contributes to a suitable environment for this modification method.

Two cloud seeding methods have usually been used across various countries, namely glaciogenic, cold-cloud seeding using dry ice and silver iodide and hygroscopic, warm-cloud seeding with hygroscopic flares which has showed better results over the Al Hajar Mountains as compared to the former method.Care has to be taken to wisely use such chemicals as in large quantities they have proved to be toxic.In addition, these chemicals also deprive areas downwind of rains if over used, leading to geo-political spats.

With the UAE benefitting from the cloud seeding method in the late 90s, the Sultanate began studying the regional weather pattern and started to work on the project from the year 2012 in several areas including Al Jabal AL Akhdar and the Dhofar Governorate. Ion emission technology, considered one of the safest technologies, using ionic emitters in 12 cloud seeding stations was installed.These emitters sent negative ions to coalesce with dust particles using rising air currents and increase rainfall.

Over a period of five years, the project was monitored and the results were evaluated by the University of Wollongong in Australia.The results showed an impressive 18.8% increase in rainfall rates with an accuracy of 99.99 per cent.

The Supreme Council of Planning (SCP) which monitors the country’s commitment towards the  Sustainable Development Goals on behalf of the Government of Oman has taken this initiative to ensure Oman’s growing needs for freshwater resources in a sustainable manner.

For a downloadable copy:Cloud Seeding in Oman

Launch of Al Hosn Al Suluk

SustainableOman, as a supporter of the SDGs and Oman Vision 2040, is proud to launch its second campaign, named "Hosn Al Suluk", Arabic for "good actions" or "good deeds/behaviour".

Preparatory meeting for the Suluk before the COVID19 pandemic.

In spite of a very challenging start of 2020, we at SustainableOman worked on adapting on these unprecedented times to make our efforts to raise awareness gain impact and meaningful to all.

Hosn Al Suluk, or Suluk for short, is an attempt to Omanise the Sustainable Development Goals.  Each goal has 10 easy, daily actions that one can do each day until the 50th National Day of Oman on the 18th November 2020. They said, depending on the person's motivation, that it takes at least 2 weeks to change behaviour or habits...Suluk will give you 170 days, just enough to 'perfect' it! 

Suluk will give every citizen and resident in Oman a role, right, and opportunity to help achieve end poverty, reduce equalities, and to act on climate change.

The earth is our home. Oman is our house. The people are our gift.

Let's act together. Today.

SustainableOman Photo Competition

Call for Entries

It is with great excitement that SustainableOman shares this wonderful opportunity with the community, just as we complete the recent 50th Anniversary of Earth Day 2020 celebrations.

Mr. Charles Mauleverer is composing this Environmental Symphony with the intent to inspire climate action to collectively reverse global warming.

SustainableOman was chosen for a photographic entry from Oman.

Photo Submission

SustainableOman is looking for photographs of something important and/or iconic to the Sultanate of Oman that will be affected by climate change.

The image shall be accompanied by a separate message in the format of “For the love of _______,” and the photo should represent this element or idea.

For example, a Canadian might say “For the love of glaciers,” with a photo of snowy Rocky Mountains, or, “Pour l’amour du sirop d’erable,” with a photo of the maple trees.

The message with your photo, in the above format, should be in either ARABIC or ENGLISH.

The message will be incorporated into the choir’s lyrics of the symphony and will also appear with the image.

 

Photo Requirements

SustainableOman is looking for photographs of something important and/or iconic to Oman that will be affected by climate change.

We urge photographers to visually realize this very important requirement of the photo competition, to think about and carefully reflect the work through this lens.

  1. No more than two (2) photos per person
  2. Photo(s) parameters:
    • jpg file format
    • landscape orientation
    • 3000 x 2000 pixels (maximum of 6 MB)
    • no logo or watermark
  3. Caption in Arabic or English “for the love of _________________”
  4. File name: Last.First Name.Location_EnvSymph.jpg

There are no other specific requirements.

It is just really important to see Oman well represented.

 

Eligibility and Selection

Anyone living in Oman with a camera may participate and submit up to two (2) photographs for entry for the Environmental Symphony competition.

All submissions will be judged by an expert panel and one finalist will be selected.

 

Top Entry Award

  • Photo, message, and the first name of the photographer used in the Environmental Symphony to represent Oman
  • A plant or tree to beautify the finalist’s home or garden in Oman

 

Honorable Mentions

  • Recognized on SustainableOman’s website
  • Images possibly featured on SustainableOman’s website and promoted on our social media platforms

 

Permission

By entering the Environmental Symphony photo competition and submitting photographic entries for the project through SustainableOman, you give permission to use the photos, messages, and first name of the photographer by SustainableOman and the Environmental Symphony on all platforms where the symphony will be presented.

The aim is to perform the symphony in as many countries as possible around the world, raising awareness for the globally pertinent issues and social responsibilities surrounding climate change.

Ownership of the photo will remain with the artist.

 

Timeline

Please submit final entries to hello@sustainableoman.com by June 30, 2020.

The winner will be announced on July 15, 2020.

The ambition for this project is to create a recorded version of the symphony by the end of 2021, with all the countries’ photographic submissions included.

We look forward to receiving many submissions. We hope that this project presents a welcome and joyful distraction and an opportunity to bring about change, igniting creative ideas for personal actions to reduce carbon emissions.

 

Judges

Sarah Hale, a resident of Oman for nearly 10 years, is the co-founder and photographer at local company, Booma.

Sarah has a Bachelor of Arts in Photojournalism from University of Minnesota and over ten years experience working as a professional photographer in a range of subjects.

Her biggest passion is conservation and has done several projects with local organisations to create awareness about the precious biodiversity of Oman.