Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has put back the deadline for bids on the $2bn, 1,200MW independent power plant (IPP) at Rabigh from 31 August until 1 November.

The Power and Water Utilities Company for Jubail and Yanbu (Marafiq) has also delayed the deadline for its $4bn Yanbu independent water and power project (IWPP) from 27 August until 15 December.

The consortiums bidding for the projects have already begun contacting banks about securing financial support for their bids.

One Saudi-banker who is looking at joining a banking group on both projects says he expects the plants to require an element of Saudi riyal financing to encourage domestic banks to finance the projects.

“Both these projects will definitely need to have riyal tranches,” he says. “No large transaction will be done with Saudi banks on a dollar basis only.”

Marafiq is being advised by HSBC on the Yanbu project. It has pre-qualified 12 bidding groups for the scheme.