Al-Zour conversion job attracts only one offer

10 February 2006

The shortcomings of local tender regulations and the state's failure to attract international contractors to its power and water sector were again brought into focus in late January after only one bid was received for a major contract to convert the Al-Zour south power plant into combined cycle. Germany's Siemens is the sole bidder for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to install two 250-MW steam turbines and heat recovery boilers at the 1,000-MW gas-fired plant. Local tender rules stipulate that major projects must receive at least two offers, and the Central Tenders Committee (CTC) is now likely to recommend that the project be retendered. Al-Zour South comprises eight 125-MW open cycle turbines. It was commissioned on a fast-track basis by Siemens in 2004 (MEED 13:8:04).

Three other international contractors - Paris-based Alstom, the US' GE Power, and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries - did not submit an offer. The client is the Energy Ministry (Electricity & Water).

Two other recent Energy Ministry projects also failed to receive more than one offer. South Korea's Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction was the sole bidder for both the Doha East distiller upgrade and Shuwaikh desalination plant schemes. Kuwait has long found it hard to attract international EPC contractors to its power, water and hydrocarbons sectors. Many companies complain of vague tender documents, unfair apportioning of project risk and the perceived dominance of certain contractors in the market, all of which make companies think bidding is not worthwhile (MEED 25:11:05).

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