Probe launched into power disruption

MUSCAT: The Authority for Public Services Regulation (APSR) launched a full-scale investigation into the causes of the power outage in the northern areas of the Sultanate of Oman on Monday.

Based on the powers and tasks entrusted with the authority, its team will probe the reasons for disruption in the main network and suggest necessary steps to ensure the compliance of the licensed companies to implement the recommendations following a technical inquiry.

Dr Mansour bin Talib al Hinai, Chairman, Authority for Public Services Regulation, visited the Ibri 400/200 kV station as part of the technical investigation procedures with the Oman Electricity Transmission Company.

He said the technical failure which occurred in the transmission network and the outage was due to purely technical reasons and that the authority had started a technical investigation to evaluate the measures taken by the company to deal with the outage.

He said that the two systems in the north and south of the Sultanate of Oman will be connected in 2026, with the first part ending in 2023, and studies are under way on the implementation of the second phase.

The major power outage on Monday also affected some operations at Muscat International Airport though full services were restored by the same evening.

"We would like to announce that the operations at Muscat International Airport have resumed to full capacity. We would like to extend our appreciation to our valued passengers for their understanding and cooperation and apologise for any inconvenience caused by this emergency. We are very grateful to all our strategic partners for the rapid response and great support to prevent any impact on operations as per the approved plans," the statement said.

According to Maj Mohammed bin Salam al Hashmi of the Royal Oman Police, traffic congestion on Monday was mainly because people were leaving for home after work in the afternoon. “Some minor incidents were reported during this period, but no one was seriously injured.”

TECHNICAL ISSUE

Meanwhile, power supply was restored to all areas, according to the Authority for Public Services Regulation.

Speaking to the Observer, a spokesperson from the authority said that the technical issue with the power grid has been resolved and electricity distributors were able to ensure uninterrupted power supply within few hours after the incident.

"We were able to restore power supply to all parts of the country step by step in few hours after the outage on Monday afternoon," he added.

The unprecedented power outage affected traffic signals, offices, schools, banks and others.

Schools and other organisations in affected areas declared holiday on Tuesday as a precautionary measure.

"We took precautionary measures in view of any further power shortage and were well equipped with backups," a representative of a medical supply firm in CBD area told the Observer.

The outage affected the governorates of Muscat, parts of North and South Al Batinah, North and South Al Sharqiyah, and Al Dakhiliyah.

Essential services, including hospitals, worked on power generators, while many citizens and expatriates were seen moving in their vehicles after the power outage.

Source: Oman Observer