The independent power project (IPP) will serve the Almahdi aluminium smelter in the Bandar Abbas minerals free zone planned by Iran Aluminium Company (Iralco).

The smelter will have capacity of 110,000 tonnes a year by 2008 and is to be fed with imported bauxite. The consultant for the IPP is the local Monenco Iran.

Bidders for the buyback phase are understood to include: the local Azarab; Jahad Taghighat, also local, with UK-based Balli Group; Germany’s Ferrostaal; and an affiliate of Italy’s Fata Group. Fata supplied the equipment for the smelter and Balli is the aluminium offtaker. Bidding groups for the larger BOT project have yet to be formed and are likely to be mainly local. Both plants are to use gas turbines.