Oman is expected to award an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to one of four international companies vying for the development of a first 50MW commercial-scale wind farm in the country in Q1 of 2016, reported Trade Arabia.

The wind-based renewable energy project at Thamrait in Dhofar Governorate is meant to install between 17 to 25 wind turbines to power 16,000 homes when the project comes on line in 2017. Generation capacity of the wind turbines varies from 2MW to 3.5MW per turbine.

The project is being developed by a joint venture between Oman’s Rural Areas Electricity Company (RAECO) and Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, Masdar, each with a 50% share, according to Zawya.

An international operator is also to be appointed to run the wind farm, while required to train Omani staff in operation and maintenance. The winner of the EPC contract will have to build a 12km long overhead line to link the wind farm with the Salalah Grid.

Austrian-based international firm ILF Consulting Engineers is providing consulting and engineering services in the establishment of the venture.