Industry sources say five groups led by international developers are shaping up and planning to respond by 16 October to Marafiq’s request for proposals (RFP). The consortia leaders are understood to be: the UK’s International Power, Belgium’s Tractebel, France’s Total, the US’ AES Corporationand Japan’s Mitsui & Company. A host of local companies prequalified separately by Marafiq are expected to join the consortia. They include Acwapower, Kanoo Power, National Power Company, Saudi Ogerand Xenel Industries.

The Marafiq power plant, which will serve Jubail industrial city, will have capacity of 2,400 MW and 79 million gallons a day and is set to come on stream in late 2007, with full operations scheduled for 2008.

Financial close and the signing of all the project agreements are scheduled for mid-2005. Citigroupand Samba Financial Groupare the financial advisers on the IWPP. A team comprising Germany’s Lahmeyer International, the US’ Kuljian Engineering Corporationand Austria’s ILF Consulting Engineersare the technical advisers.

Of the five consortia leaders planning to become involved in Marafiq’s IWPP, all but Total have also been shortlisted to bid for the Shouaiba IWPP, being promoted by Water & Electricity Company (WEC), a joint venture of Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) and Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC – MEED 6:8:04, Cover Story).