Oman Power and Water Company (OPWP) has received five bids for the contract to build a 1,500MW independent power project (IPP) at Sur.

The following groups submitted bids:

  • Marubeni Corporation (Japan)/Qatar Water & Electricity Company (QEWC)
  • Mitsui & Company (Japan)/Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (UAE)/Oman Oil (local)
  • Sembcorp Utilities (Singapore)
  • Enka (Turkey)
  • Siemens (Germany)/Saudi Oger (Saudi Arabia)/Korea East West Power Company (South Korea)

OPWP prequalified a total of six groups to bid in January. The only prequalified company not to submit a bid is AES.

The US developer’s decision to pull out of the Sur IPP tender in addition to another IPP at Qurrayah in Saudi Arabia has sparked rumours of the company’s intention to leave the Middle East.

Several companies responded to the request for qualification, but were not selected, including Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power International, along with Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) and Procomon & Asociados.

The winning bidder will bring 400MW of power capacity online by the summer of 2013 to help the country meet its peak demand during the hot months. Full commissioning is scheduled for the following summer.

Sur is located south of the capital on the coastline and offers a large area ready for construction, as well as access to an existing pipeline that feeds the Oman LNG plant operating on the outskirts of the site.

OPWP decided to develop the Sur scheme after dropping plans to build an independent water and power project (IWPP) at Al-Ghubrah. Although the al-Ghubrah project was intended to take advantage of existing infrastructure in the area and allow an existing plant at the site to be retired, it was cancelled as a result of environmental impact issues and its proximity to residential areas in Muscat.

Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC) is already implementing projects to reinforce the transmission system around Sur, which will allow power to be exported to the Main Interconnected System, the grid that serves most of Oman.

The advisory team selected to work on the shelved Al-Ghubrah plant was transferred to the Sur IPP in July. The team comprises the UK’s Ernst & Young, DLA Piper, British Power International and Glen House Capital Strategies.