The turnkey contract, which is the biggest electricity generation contract issued in the country, covers the installation of two 100-MW gas turbines, two heat recovery steam generators and a 100-MW steam turbine. It also includes the construction of a condenser, cooling tower, pumps, generator step-up transformers, generator breakers and other associated mechanical and electrical equipment, as well as associated civil works. The first of the gas turbines will be in operation by August 2005, the second by November 2005 and the steam turbine by September 2006.

The government will cover 30 per cent of the project’s cost, with the remainder coming from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and the Kuwait-based Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development. The plant will be powered by natural gas exported from Egypt through the Arab gas pipeline currently under construction in the south.

France’s Alstom Powerwas shortlisted in June alongside the Black & Veatch/Gama team. Other bidders were: Germany’s Siemens; South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Company; Italy’s Ansaldo Energia; and Spain’s Iberdrola(MEED 25:6:04).

The original design included a water cooling system, with water to be supplied from the nearby Al-Samra water treatment plant. However, in July 2003 Cegco asked US project consultant Kuljian Engineering Corporationto rewrite the project specifications using an air cooling system after it failed to reach agreement with the Al-Samra authorities over the quality, quantity and price for the supplies of cooling water.

The scope of the project has been scaled back from the original plan, which called for the construction of a 450-MW plant on a build-operate basis. Following the late 2002 withdrawal of preferred bidder Tractebelof Belgium from the project, the government in March 2003 invited four groups to bid for an estimated $300 million independent power project (IPP). However, the IPP route was abandoned after bidders said they needed more time.