The US’s K&M Engineering & Consulting has won the consultancy contract on Jordan’s latest independent power plant (IPP).

The client is the National Electric Power Company (Nepco). In early 2009, Nepco completed a study to determine the size, location and technology for the IPP. The results of the study showed that the plant should have capacity of 400-500MW and begin operating in 2013 or 2014.

However, it will be part of the consultant’s remit to finalise the details of the project. A number of locations have been proposed for the scheme, including Zarqa, to the north of Amman.

The consultant will begin by carrying out due diligence on the scheme to determine whether it is still needed and if sufficient financing can be raised.

If the project does go ahead as planned, Nepco is likely to issue a request for proposals from developers in the third quarter of the year, according to a project source.

The plant, which will use either steam turbines or diesel engines, will initially be oil-fired. However, depending on the availability of alternative feedstock, it could be converted to run on natural gas in the future.

Nepco, which operates most of Jordan’s power network, will buy the output of the plant.

K&M beat competition from five other bidders for the contract. They included Germany’s Fichtner with HSBC and UK law firm Clifford Chance; Dutch companies Kema and Royal Haskoning with the US’ Chadbourne & Parke; and the US’ CRA International with Australia’s Sinclair Knight Merz and UK law firm Trowers & Hamlins.

The US’ Power Engineers also bid with Project Financing Solutions and law firm Denton Wilde Sapte, both of the UK. The final bid came from Belgium’s Tractebel Engineering.

The project is Jordan’s third IPP. The previous two private power schemes were implemented under the Energy & Mineral Resources Ministry. The Almanakher IPP, which began operating in August 2009, was developed by a team of Duabi-based AES Oasis and Japan’s Mitsui & Company. The ministry awarded the second IPP, at Al-Qatrana, to a team of Korea Electric Power Corporation and Saudi Arabia’s Xenel Industries in mid 2008.