Oman’s Tender Board has delayed the bid deadline for the Barka 3 and Sohar 2 independent power projects (IPPs) by just one day until 8 December.

Some of the potential bidders have asked for an extra two weeks to prepare their bids. Oman Power & Water Procurement Company (OPWP), which is in charge of both projects, has yet to respond to their requests. 

Sources close to the project say more bidders could ask for extra time if their lenders decide the projects have become more risky following state-owned holding company Dubai World’s 25 November statement that it would ask for a six-month standstill on its debts.

“It is not without an impact,” says one potential bidder. “It doesn’t necessarily change anything for Oman, but it affects perceptions of the region.”

Five groups are competing for the IPP projects. The first is a team of Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power International with the local Sogex, which has nominated Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction as its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors.

Japan’s Marubeni Corporation has joined forces with Chubu Electric, also of Japan, and Qatar Electricity & Water Company to form the second group. South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries is the team’s EPC contractor.

A third group includes the UK’s International Power, UAE-based Mubadala Development Company and the local National Trading Company, with France’s Alstom.

Fourth is a consortium of Saudi Oger and Korea Electric Power Corporation with South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering & Construction as its contractor.

Finally, Belgium’s Suez Energy International has teamed up with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jomaih Group. The group has nominated Germany’s Siemens and South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction as its contractors.

The IPPs will each have a capacity of 650-750MW of power.