The government is planning to proceed with bidding for the IPP on a fast-track basis. The request for proposals is due out in mid-February, while the project agreements are scheduled to be signed before the end of the year.

The government’s fast-track schedule underlines the growing urgency for new power capacity to meet an annual growth in electricity demand of 4.5-6.5 per cent. Additional feedstock for the estimated $200 million-300 million plant will become available in 2005, when the Egypt-Jordan gas pipeline is completed.