Eight international contractors were invited to submit EPC bids for the plant, but a number of these companies declined. After two revised closing dates, Enelpowerand Ansaldo Energia, both of Italy, and Paris-based Alstompresented proposals for the plant, which will be Tunisia’s second independent power project (IPP – MEED 10:5:02).

BG, the project’s promoter, is planning to use unprocessed gas feedstock from Miskar and other fields it operates in the state. The company is the largest foreign operator and foreign investor in Tunisia.

BG declined to give details of when it plans to award the EPC contract, but sources say that an award is expected in the first quarter of 2003. The plant is scheduled to come on stream by 2006 and 100 per cent of the electricity generated will be sold to state power company Societe Tunisienne de l’Electricite & du Gaz (STEG).

Tunisia’s first IPP, the 471-MW Rades plant, came on stream earlier this year. It is owned and operated by Carthage Power Companyin which the US’ PSEG Globalhas a 60 per cent stake and Japan’s Marubeni Corporationholds the remaining share (MEED 26:4:02).