The engineering, procurement, and construction management contract calls for the installation of a 240,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) potline that will increase Alba’s capacity to 750,000 t/y. Besides the construction of a fifth potline, several related facilities will be built including a carbon line and cast house.

Alba has also invited four companies to bid for an engineering and construction management (ECM) contract to expand the plant’s power generation capacity. They are understood to be Germany’s Siemens Power Generation, France’s Alstom, Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industriesand GE Power Systemsof the US. The UK’s Mott MacDonaldis advising Alba on the project’s power element.

The ECM contract covers the addition of an estimated 650 MW of capacity to Alba’s existing 1,504-MW power plant. The selected contractor will install three gas and two steam turbines, as well as a 220-kV gas insulated switchgear (GIS) substation. First commissioning is expected to start in late 2004. The expansion of the power station is expected to cost about $400 million.

Total project costs are estimated at $1,700 million, 90 per cent of which is expected to be financed through a mixture of export credits and conventional loans (Bahrain, MEED Special Report, 28:9:01, pages 33-34).