Adviser on board for Qatalum power plant

17 February 2006

The UK's Mott MacDonald has started work as technical adviser on the captive power plant serving the first phase of the proposed Qatalum aluminium smelter at Mesaieed. The plant, which is expected to have generating capacity of 1,000-1,500 MW, will be implemented on a private basis, with an international developer joining project sponsors Qatar Petroleum (QP) and Norway's Hydro Aluminium, as well as Qatar Electricity & Water Company (QEWC), in a new project company set up to implement the scheme (MEED 6:1:06).

Under the proposed shareholding structure, QEWC, QP and Hydro will each take a 20 per cent stake in the new project company, with the remaining 40 per cent to be held by the developer. The request for proposals for the developer role is expected to be issued in the third quarter, once a selection has taken place and the key project agreements have been signed for the Mesaieed A independent water and power project (IWPP). Ten international developers are prequalified to submit proposals by mid-March for the IWPP, formerly known as facility B, which will have capacity of 2,000 MW of power and 40 million gallons a day (g/d) of desalination (MEED 23:12:05).

The Qatalum smelter, to be implemented by a joint venture of QP and Hydro, involves in the first phase the construction of a 570,000-tonne-a-year unit. Prequalification is under way for the site preparation and quay wall construction package, while four international companies and groups have already been prequalified for the pot-room building and associated infrastructure package. They are understood to be the US-based Bechtel, the US' Fluor Daniel with K Home Engineering of the UK, Canada's SNC Lavalin and Paris-based Technip. The smelter, based on Hydro's proprietary technology, is due to be completed in late 2009.

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