Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) is evaluating prequalification entries for the contract to build a new reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant at Doha.

The ministry received prequalification documents in March for the 50 million imperial gallon-a-day (MIGD) first phase of the Doha desalination plant, and is currently evaluating the entries before it releases a prequalification list. The project will be tendered as a standard engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.

This is the second time the MEW has held a prequalification process for the project. The ministry first invited firms to prequalify for the scheme in April 2012 and had planned to issue tender documents for the project in April 2013. However, due to the environmental impact studies taking longer than expected, the project had been delayed. The MEW is intending to issue tender documents before the end fo April and award the construction contract before the end of 2014.

The new Doha desalination plant will also have a second phase, which will also involve installing a 50 MIGD component, resulting in the plant having a total capacity of 100 MIGD. The MEW is planning to tender the second phase in 2015.

The project is part of Kuwait’s efforts to expand its desalination capacity to cope with increasing demand from rapid population growth.

In addition to the Doha EPC scheme, Kuwait’s Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) is moving ahead with several major independent water and power projects (IWPPs), which will contain major desalination components.

In December, the final project agreements were signed on the Al-Zour North IWPP. The project company set up to develop the IWPP awarded South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and France’s Sidem the $1.4bn contract to build the Al-Zour North scheme. The project company is 40 per cent owned by the consortium of the UK/French GDF Suez, Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation and local Abdullah Hama al-Sagar & Brothers,

HHI will build the gas-fired 1,500MW, combined-cycle power plant, while Sidem will build the 107 million gallon-a-day (g/d) desalination component of the Al-Zour project. The consortium is scheduled to complete the construction of the IWPP in the fourth quarter of 2016.

When financial close for the Al-Zour North IWPP is reached, the PTB and MEW will push ahead with the next phase of the Al-Zour development, Al-Zour North 2 IWPP. In June 2013, the PTB invited companies to express interest in the second phase of the Al-Zour scheme, which will have similar scope and the same power and water desalination capacities as the first phase.

The PTB and MEW are also planning to oversee the development of an IWPP at Al-Khiran, for which the first phase will have a power generation capacity of 1,500MW and a water desalination capacity of 125 MIGD. Developers were invited to submit expressions of interest (EoI) in December.