Kuwait’s Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to developers to build the country’s first independent water and power project (IWPP) at Al-Zour North.

The RFP was issued on 24 March and site visits will be held on 27 April. Bids are to be submitted by 27 September and will be opened in November. A preferred bidder is expected to be named later that month, and financial close is scheduled for May 2012.

The following companies are eligible to bid:

  • Acwa Power (Saudi Arabia)/GIC (local)/Samsung C&T (South Korea)/Itochu Corporation (Japan)
  • GE International (US)
  • Malakoff International (Malaysia)/SK Group (South Korea)
  • Marubeni (Japan)/Alghanim (Kuwait)
  • Sumitomo (Japan)
  • Tenaga Nasional Berhad (Malaysia)
  • National Industries Group (Kuwait)
  • Privatization Holding Company (Kuwait)
  • IP-GDF Suez (UK/France)/Kepco (South Korea)/AH Sagar & Brother Group
  • Mitsui (Japan)/Kharafi Group (Kuwait)/Ahmadiah (Kuwait)
  • Combined Group Contracting Company (Kuwait)
  • National Bank of Kuwait (Kuwait)
  • United Industries Group (Kuwait)
  • Noor Investment Company (Kuwait)
  • KGL Logistics Company (Kuwait)

The international companies were prequalified in December 2010, while the Kuwaiti companies were automatically prequalified according to Kuwaiti law.

The winning bidder will construct the project on a design, finance, build, operate and maintain basis. It will have a capacity of 1,500MW of power and between 102-107 million gallons a day (g/d) of desalinated water.

The project is required to successfully achieve early power of at least 200MW, by no later than 31 December 2013. At least 400MW is to come online no later than 15 February 2014 and at least 600MW by 31 March 2014. The project is to enter commercial operation by 31 May 2015.

The project will use natural gas as its main fuel and gas oil as back-up fuel. Gas and gas oil will be provided by the Electricity and Water Ministry.

The desalination plant will use either a 100 per cent thermal process or a hybrid process. In the case of a hybrid solution, the capacity of the reverse osmosis plant is not to exceed 25 per cent of the total desalination capacity.

A special-purpose vehicle will be established as a Kuwaiti Public Joint Stock Company with 40 per cent owned by the successful bidder. The remainder will be held by public entities directly, or on behalf of Kuwaiti nationals through a stock market flotation.

Kuwait is expected to adopt the IWPP model for all its future power and water schemes and is already planning a further four facilities at the Al-Zour North site.

Phase two is to have the same capacity in both power and water as phase one. Phase three will add 800MW in power capacity and 50 million g/d, phase four will add 1,000MW and phase five will add 25 million g/d of water capacity to the site. Phases 1 and 2 are expected to be fired on natural gas fuel with gas oil fuel as back-up fuel.