(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Muscat- Bank Muscat inaugurated the country's first solar-powered bank branch at a ceremony on Sunday presided by H E Mohammed bin Salim bin Said al Toobi, Minister of Environment and Climate Affairs, in the presence of dignitaries and Sulaiman al Harthy, deputy chief executive officer Islamic Banking. The opening was held at Meethaq branch in Al Khoudh.
Aimed at promoting renewable sources of energy in the sultanate, the solar-powered Al Khoudh branch comes as part of the bank's Imprints CSR initiative.
Meethaq is the first bank in the sultanate to fully operate a branch on green renewable energy. The rooftop solar panel installation at Al Khoudh branch has the capacity to produce 50kW electricity. The solar-powered branch will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 52.56 tonnes per year.
Nafath Renewable Energy, a leading SME player in energy conservation, implemented the project.
H E Toobi congratulated Meethaq for the new initiative complementing environmental protection and sustainable development in the sultanate.
He said, 'This is the first private sector initiative in the sultanate promoting solar power. The future of solar power in Oman is bright and we expect many more projects and initiatives in the coming years. Solar power and renewable energy will increase to 15 per cent of the volume of energy consumed in the sultanate.
'Presently, small solar projects are in operation to light roads, houses and tourist tents. What makes the Meethaq initiative special is that it is connected to the government network. A large solar power project in the wilayat of Ibri will produce 500MW to benefit around 33,000 houses. There will be more such projects in Sohar, Duqm and Salalah where development projects are under way.'
Harthy said, 'Meethaq takes pride in leading the way in promoting renewable sources of energy in the sultanate. At a time when the role of Islamic finance is increasingly seen in supporting economic and social development, Meethaq considers this a great opportunity for defining benchmarks in conservation of energy.'
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Eng Abdullah al Saidi, executive director of Nafath Renewable Energy, said, 'The Meethaq Al Khoudh branch is one of the first commercial buildings in the Governorate of Muscat that operates with on-grid connected solar systems. We are proud to achieve the aspirations of Meethaq, our partners.
'Nafath Renewable Energy, registered with Riyada, is fully managed by a team of Omani engineers. The partnership with Meethaq Islamic Banking is a big boost for entrepreneurship.'