- Al-Samawa plant will be Iraqs first publicly tendered independent power project
- A bid submission date has been set in late November
Prequalified groups are currently working on bid submissions for the Al-Samawa independent power project (IPP), Iraqs first publicly tendered IPP scheme.
According to sources in Baghdad, 12 groups have been invited to submit proposals in November. Iraqs Electricity Ministry recently had a meeting to discuss technical clarifications for the proposed 750MW plant, which will be located in the Al-Samawa governorate in the south of the country.
According to a source close to the project, 12 firms have been prequalified to participate in the tender. While the current submission date is in late November, this may be extended if bidders need more time to work on submissions.
MEED reported in January that the ministry had received expressions of interest (EoIs) from about 17 companies for the IPP, with prequalification entrants including developers from as far afield as the US and Japan.
The duration of the power purchase agreement (PPA) will be 17.5 years. If successful, the ministry intends to roll out further IPPs as part of a larger programme.
The Al-Samawa plant will use GE turbine purchased as part of the ministrys mega-deal with the US GE and Germanys Siemens in 2009 for turbines for fast-track power projects. The IPP is scheduled to use four 175MW turbines. As part of the scheme, bidders will be required to purchase the turbines.
MEED understands the ministry will be willing to provide financing for the turbines at a low-interest rate if required. While the authority is planning to develop the project as a combined-cycle plant, due to the urgent demand for power in the country, bidders can initially develop the facility as a simple-cycle facility and upgrade it to combined-cycle within 4.5 years from financial close.
While many in the power sector remain sceptical about Iraqs market due to the ongoing security problems, the countrys IPP prospects received a welcome boost in 2015 when the local/Jordanian developer Shamara Group was appointed to develop the Rumaila power plant as an IPP. MEED recently reported that the Iran-based contractor Mapna Group had signed an estimated $2.5bn contract to build the 3,000MW power plant for the Shamara Group