The developer team made up of Dubai-based AES Oasis and Japan's Mitsui & Company has been ranked as the first bidder for the kingdom's inaugural independent power project (IPP) at Almanakher, following the opening of commercial bids in late February. The next step in the developer selection process is expected to be the nomination of a preferred bidder to start negotiations on the key project agreements.
The AES/Mitsui team offered a levelised price a kilowatt hour in the range of 6-7 per cent below the offer from a team of Saudi Arabia's Xenel Industries and Turkey's Gama, and about 10 per cent below the price of the third bidding group, made up of Belgium's Unit International and Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC).
Bidders were asked to submit an offer for a 280-400-MW combined cycle scheme, to be implemented on a build-own-operate (BOO) basis. It is understood that the lowest bidder, which has Mitsui as its nominated engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, proposed a power plant with capacity of about 400 MW.
The successful bidder will sign a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) by mid-2006. The US' K&M Engineering & Consultancy Corporation is advising the Energy & Mineral Resources Ministry on the IPP, for which the World Bank will provide guarantees (MEED 6:1:06).