The entire project could free to 1.8 billion cubic feet a day of natural gas, enough to produce 8,000MW of electricity, according to Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar). The scheme is being done in parallel with Masdar’s hydrogen power plant.

Following a seven-month feasibility study by Canada’s SNC Lavalin, two sites -one a coastal power plant, the other an industrial facility -have been recommended to the government.

Once a decision is made, a project company is likely to be formed, with Masdar as a major shareholder. It will build a postcombustion carbon capture system, at a cost of about $500m.

An 8-12-month front-end engineering and design process will carried out by a contractor, with bidding for the engineering, procurement and construction element due early in 2009. The plant is due to be operational by 2012.

After this, the CCS programme will be extended nationwide.

Masdar is also preparing to issue tenders for the world’s largest solar thermal power project. Prequalified developers will be invited in March to bid for the five-year build/ own/ operate/
transfer of a 100MW complex.

Germany’s Siemens, the US’Energy, Cobra, Abengoa and Sener, all of Spain, and France’Tenesol are all expected to bid.

Masdar is thought to have opted for crystalline-based panels.