Kuwait has cancelled plans to build a government-run power and water plant at Al-Zour North and will use the site set aside for the scheme to house the country’s first independent facility.

The plant will have a capacity of 1,500MW of power and 100 million gallons a day of desalinated water

The decision to substitute the country’s first independent water and power plant (IWPP) for the original scheme was made by the country’s governing cabinet in June, senior Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) sources tell MEED.

Kuwait’s power and water requirements
Installed power capacity (2009) 10,825MW
Required power capacity by 2019 29,750MW
Installed desalination capacity (2009) 423 million gallons a day
Required desalination capacity by 2019 832 million gallons a day
Source: MEED

Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB), the government body which oversees public-private partnership (PPP) projects in Kuwait, is tendering the IWPP scheme and will take over the Al-Zour North site.

The country’s Ministry of Electricity & Water was developing the Al-Zour North power project. It prequalified six international engineering firms to bid on the contract to design, build, operate and maintain the 1,500MW facility in February and had set a 27 June deadline for bids on the deal. The Kuwaiti cabinet only approved plans for the original power and water plant in September 2009.

The MEW project had been delayed in the past. The ministry prequalified seven companies to bid on the scheme in December 2005, but just one bid was submitted for the planned 2,500MW steam plant the following year.

Firms prequalified to bid for the retendered contract included: the local Abdulaziz Abdulmohsin Al-Rashed Sons Company with the US’ General Electric; the local Thuwainy Trading Company with Japan’s Mitsui; Germany’s Siemens; the local Matajer Al Khaleej United Trading & Contracting Company; Saudi Arabia’s Allied Technical General Trading & Contracting Company with Spain’s Iberdrola; and the local Heavy Engineering Industries and Shipbuilding Company with the Canada’s SNC-Lavalin.

Prequalification documents for IWPP the project were made available from 27 June and developers have been asked to hand in applications to bid on the scheme by 26 August. PTB launched preliminary discussions with developers in May in a market sounding.

The winning bidder on the IWPP scheme will design, finance, build, operate and maintain the gas-fired power and water facility.

The plant will have a capacity of 1,500MW of power and 100 million gallons a day of desalinated water.

A team of France’s BNP Paribas, US law firm Chadbourne & Parke and Germany’s Lahmeyer International won the mandate to advise PTB on the project in March.

Power and water from the project will be sold to the Electricity & Water Ministry under a 30-year offtake agreement.

In accordance with Kuwait’s PPP laws the project will be undertaken by a public joint stock company of which 40 per cent will be offered to the successful developer following a competitive tendering process.

The Al-Zour North site was selected for the IWPP after analysis of three sites at Al-Zour on Kuwait’s east coast. The site was selected as permission has already been granted for the MEW project at Al-Zour North which, along with advantages such as easy water access, are expected to speed up the early stages of the project.

The government of Kuwait wants to build future power and water plants on an IWPP basis.