Oman has announced the official launch of a 17-megawatt solar farm facility, mainly designed to power the Sharqiyah Desalination Plant at Sur region of the sultanate.
Developed in partnership with global multi-energy company TotalEnergies and French water management specialist Veolia, the solar farm boasts an annual capacity of over 32,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of green electricity.
Construction work on the facility began last year, with testing taking place from March to April this year followed by its commercial operation the same month.
The solar plant is a significant step toward decarbonization efforts in the region, as it is expected to reduce 27,200 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to the emissions from roughly 6,000 internal combustion engine-powered vehicles over the same period, said Engineer Salim bin Nasser Al Aufi, the Minister of Energy and Minerals in Oman.
He was speaking after officially inaugurating the 17MWp solar photovoltaic farm, the largest of its kind for a desalination facility in Oman.  
Lauding the project, Al Aufi emphasized its role in supporting clean drinking water for over 600,000 residents in the Sharqiyah region. 
He highlighted its alignment with global efforts toward energy transition for a net-zero world and its contribution to water security in Oman. 
The project is in line with Oman’s National Energy Strategy, aiming to derive 30% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, as part of Oman Vision 2040, he added.
Philippe Bourdeaux, Vice President of Africa, Near & Middle East of Veolia, lauded the support from the sultanate and the private sector partners in their efforts to contribute to energy transition and decarbonization. 
Veolia, with over 40 years of experience in the Middle East, including 15 years in Oman, has been instrumental in delivering sustainable solutions and supporting Oman’s green and circular economy objectives. 
Bourdeaux pointed out that the sultanate remains a strategic location for Veolia’s operations in the region.
"Veolia remains committed to ecological transformation and its expertise in reducing carbon emissions through renewable energy and sustainable operations," he added.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by senior management from Veolia and Total Energies, as well as government officials and representatives from the Sharqiyah Desalination Company and the Nama Power and Water Procurement Company (NPWP).-TradeArabia News Service