Iraq’s Electricity Ministry has received five bids to build a 500MW power plant at Samawa in Muthana governorate, a year after dropping plans to develop the project as private sector scheme because of lack of interest.

Four firms had submitted bids in February 2011 when the project was planned as an independent power project (IPP), including two local firms. The scheme was then cancelled and retendered as an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. Five companies have submitted bids.

The project will comprise four 125MW Frame 9E turbines from the US’ GE. The following companies submitted bids:

  • Gama (Turkey)
  • Metka (Greece)
  • Daewoo (South Korea)
  • Harbin (China)
  • The Arab Contractors (Egypt)

However, a further five companies prequalified to bid for the project but declined. Those companies were:

  • Ansaldo Energia (Italy)
  • ABB (Switzerland)
  • Tecnimont (Italy)
  • JGC Corporation (Japan)
  • Samsung (South Korea)

The Samawa project was originally tendered as an IPP in 2010 as part of the government’s plans to launch the country’s first private power plants. Iraq then shelved the IPP programme in June 2011, including the Samawa project, citing disappointing levels of interest from international developers.

The ministry then began retendering the projects as EPC schemes. Several contract awards were declared invalid due to corruption allegations and have been retendered again as EPC deals. Contracts to build a 500MW power project at Amawa and another 500MW facility at Dewaniya are currently in tendering.

Iraq is now considering reviving its IPP programme, starting with a single small project.