‘We were asked to register an interest in receiving request for proposal documents by 20 October,’ says one of the bidders. ‘But the document was not detailed.’

It is understood to outline plans for what will be a 1,000-MW facility when completed. The first phase envisages the construction of a 420-MW plant which will share facilities with the existing power complex at Hidd. The schedule for the new plant aims for financial close by 30 June 2004 and for commissioning of the first phase by 30 April 2006.

The proposal for Hidd III is the first fruit of the study into the planned restructuring of the domestic power and water sector commissioned by the government. UK-based management consultant Ernst & Young (E&Y)is leading a team, comprising Germany’s Lahmeyer International, the UK’s Hyder Consulting, law firm Myers & Brownand LECGof the US, on the privatisation study (MEED 13:6:03).

The kingdom’s current installed electrical generating capacity stands at 1,810 MW, with peak load demand of 1,550 MW during the summer. Water demand peaks at 88 million gallons a day (g/d), of which 68 million g/d is provided through desalination.