Progress with the procurement of two major planned power projects in Saudi Arabia with a combined capacity of more than 9GW has stalled.

According to sources close to the proposed 5,400MW PP15 independent power project (IPP) and 3,780MW Taiba integrated solar combined-cycle (ISCC) schemes, both projects are facing delays in the procurement stages.

For the 3,780MW Taiba ISCC project, the client Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) received proposals for the OEM (Original equipment manufacturer) and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract in the last week of November. However, bidders and interested companies are still waiting for news on the main contracts for the project.

There has been speculation in the market that the procurement model for the Taiba project may be switched to an independent power project (IPP) model as a result of Riyadh cutting capital expenditure programmes as a result of the fall in oil revenues. However, according to sources close to the scheme, no decision to switch the model has been made yet.

Progress with tendering the 5,400MW PP15 IPP has also slowed.

Developers are waiting for state utility Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) to begin the prequalification process for the planned 5,400MW PP15 power project, which will developed under the independent power project (IPP) model.

MEED reported in November that developers had been invited to submit EOIs, with the client having been expected to issue request for qualification (RFQ) documents in December. However, the RFQs have still not been issued, with no further news on a timeline for the tendering of the project from the client.

At 5,400MW, PP15 will be the largest privately financed fossil-fuel power plant in the region, with only the 5.6GW Baraka nuclear project in Abu Dhabi exceeding the size of the proposed facility.

SEC has appointed the UK’s HSBC as financial consultant for the scheme, with the UK’s DLA Piper and Germany’s Fichtner appointed as legal and technical consultants respectively.

The PP15 project represents the first major power plant that SEC, on its own, has tendered as an IPP since the 2,060MW Rabigh 2 IPP, for which the main contracts were awarded in December 2013. The client had favoured awarding engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for large power projects in recent years, but as a result of the fall in oil price, it is preparing to move ahead with all of its major new power projects under the IPP private partnership model.

While progress with awarding contracts the PP15 and Taiba ISCC projects appear to have stalled, Riyadh has made progress with launching the tender for the first project under its National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP).

MEED recently reported that the kingdom’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office (Repdo), which is part of the Ministry of Energy, Industry & Mineral Resources, had issued request for proposals (RFPs) to prequalified firms for the planned 300MW photovoltaic (PV) solar project at Sakaka.

Prequalified developers have until 11 September 2017 to submit proposals for the planned 300MW project. Repdo is planning to appoint shortlisted bidders by 13 November and sign the power purchase agreement (PPA) by 15 January 2018. A final target date for financial close has been set for 28 February 2018, with the client aiming for the project to have been commissioned by 31 August 2019.

MEED recently reported that 27 companies had been prequalified to participate in the bidding process for the 300MW solar project, is part of the first round of procurement for the country’s National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP).