EXCLUSIVE: AER 2019 budget/plans include regulating water, waste water, and gas transmission


هذه الصفحة متوفرة بهذه اللغة: العربية

3 December 2018

Muscat (WAF)- Oman’s Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER) announced today it’s budget for 2019 with a marginal increase from 5.2 million Omani Rials in 2018 to RO5.5mn.

“As part of AER’s plans for 2019, we are working on the government’s plan to add the responsibilities of regulating the water, waste water and gas transmission sectors to the electricity regulator”, Qais al-Zakwani, Executive Director of AER told WAF News.
Al-Zakwani explained that AER’s budget is based on the Forward Work Programme that highlights the planned responsibilities and tasks assigned to the Regulator and new or on-going initiatives. “And based on these tasks the licensees’ fees is allocated to each licensee on an annual basis”.
The Authority is financially and administratively independent institution and does not rely on Oman’s state budget to finance its operations, and is funded completely by fees paid by Licensees that operate in the sector. The Authority’s expected surplus in 2018’s budget is RO389,286 according to AER’s announced budget brief.
The staff expenditure – including salaries, training, and recruitment- accounts for 51% of AER’s budget for 2019. “We are looking to add more members to our staff as a preparation for the new sectors AER will be looking after. This includes the water and waste water sector which will be regulated by the Authority as of 2020, and the gas transmission sector -namely Oman Gas Company- which will follow”, al-Zakwani added
Al-Zakwani emphasised that the Authority will not be expanding its expenses widely with the new tasks, while the participation by the licensees will be spread over a bigger number of companies once the new sectors are added to the regulatory purview of the Authority.
The number of licensees currently contributing to AER’s budget is 26 including power generation, power distribution, power and water procurement, power transmission, and water desalination- and more companies from the water and waste water and gas transmission sector will be licensed by AER once the regulatory responsibility is transferred to it.
In 2019, AER will implement the second phase of Sahim -the renewable energy initiative-, the energy efficiency program “Government Buildings Energy Audits and Retrofits”, preparing for the 2021 Spot Market, the privatisation plans, and regulating water, waste water and gas transmission sector.
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