Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) will allow contractors to prequalify for the contract to build a power and water project at Ras al-Zour in the Eastern Province after 5 December, when it plans to release the first invitations to bid for the scheme.

Contractors must prequalify before they can buy the tender documents, but the kingdom’s water utility has not set a deadline for prequalification. SWCC will not announce an official shortlist of bidders before issuing the tenders, sources close to the scheme say.

Instead, it will notify contractors of their prequalification on an individual basis.

If contractors wish to receive the tender on 5 December, they must submit their prequalification documents before the end of November. If they apply at a later date, they are still eligible to bid for the scheme but will receive their tenders later.

The deadline for bids for the power and water packages on the scheme is 20 March 2010. SWCC expects to award the contracts on 1 June 2010.

The Ras al-Zour scheme will incorporate a 2,400MW combined-cycle power plant and a 226 million-gallon-a-day (g/d) hybrid desalination plant.

The plants will provide 1,350MW of power and 6 million gallons a day (g/d) of water to Saudi Arabian Mining Company’s (Maaden) planned bauxite refinery and aluminium smelter on the same site at Ras al-Zour.

Saudi Electricity Company will use 1,050MW of the plant’s power output and SWCC will use 220 million g/d of desalinated water.