The selection of Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power as the preferred bidder for Oman’s largest independent power project (IPP) suggests that the developer will continue its dominance in the Middle East and North Africa’s private utilities market in 2016.

Acwa Power’s success in the Ibri/Sohar 3 IPP Oman followed closely after the signing of the power purchase agreement (PPA) for Jordan’s fifth IPP in late December, capping off a remarkable year for the developer.

After beginning 2015 with winning contracts to develop the 200MW second phase IPP of Dubai’s Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid solar park and Morocco’s 350MW Noor 2 and 3 solar schemes in January, Acwa followed this up with success in the Salalah 2 IPP in Oman and in October was selected as the preferred bidder for the 1,200MW Hassyan Coal IPP in Dubai.

Following another successful year, the Saudi developer is only second to the UK/France’s Engie in terms of equity capacity in the region’s private power and water markets, and the gap is closing.

Acwa Power has dominated its home market in Saudi Arabia since the company’s inception in 2004, and in 2015 was successful in extending its reach throughout the region. In addition to extending its geographical reach, the developer has also succeeded in diversifying its portfolio across various fuel platforms, from renewables to coal schemes.

With more projects expected to be procured through the IPP model in the coming years with the fall in oil price, the Saudi firm is well positioned to benefit. If it can continue its impressive success rate in bidding for the region’s largest private utilities schemes in 2016, there should be no shortage of potential investors when it decides to press ahead with plans for an initial public offering (IPO).