A decision on how to proceed with the power and water plants is expected in November. The delay comes as a result of lower-than-expected demand for electricity.

“P2 and Q are for the time being postponed until after the summer,” says a source at Dewa. “We are looking at peak load and over the summer this will allow us to forecast better. Already, we are seeing that the load is not as high as expected. It is also a matter of avoiding capital investment. If you can defer it, then that is better.”

Both plants will be built at Hassyan.

Tenders for Q Station, which will have a capacity of 3,000MW and 200 million gallons a day (g/d) of desalinated water, were originally due to be issued in early 2008.

Dewa scrapped the original tenders for both stages of P station after it deemed prices submitted by bidders were too high. While P1 was retendered immediately, there is still no sign of a new tender for the project’s second phase.

P1 will have a capacity of 1,500MW and 120 million g/d of water. P2 will produce 1,500MW of power and 100-120 million g/d of water. The deadline for bids for P1 has been extended from 8 July to 21 July (MEED 15:5:08).