Kuwait’s Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to consultants to advise on the development of an independent water and power project (IWPP) at Khiran.

According to a source at the PTB, advisory bids are to be submitted by mid-May. All firms, which responded to the call for expressions of interest in February, are eligible to bid. Bids will be assessed according to technical and financial criteria with greater emphasis on the former, according to the PTB.

The winning firm or group of firms will assist the PTB in structuring, procuring and negotiating the transaction. In addition to advising PTB at the tender stage, the advisers will be responsible for carrying out environmental impact studies for the project.

The Khiran thermal power plant will have a capacity of 2,500MW of power and 125 million gallons a day (g/d) of water. It will be located to the south of the existing Al-Zour South power and water project and is to include a 400kV substation.

Low-sulphur fuel oil, gasoil, crude oil and/or natural gas will be used to fire the plant. Once advisers are in place, the PTB will work to secure fuel allocations for the project. The desalination component will use multi-stage flash, multiple-effect distillation and/or reverse osmosis technology.

A special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be established to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the IWPP. The SPV will sign an energy conversion agreement together with a power and water purchase agreement with the Ministry of Electricity & Water.

Khiran South power and water project was originally planned as an engineering, procurement and construction project under the Ministry of Electricity & Water. The plant was to have a capacity of 500MW of power and 50 million g/d.

The original scheme was to comprise two steam turbines and the water facility will use multi-stage flash (MSF) technology. Contractors were to be prequalified in September 2011, which would be followed by an invitation to bid in November 2011. Tenders for several additional 500MW phases were planned to follow.

However, the scope of the plant was adjusted in mid-2011 and the plans were transferred to the PTB. According to Kuwaiti law, all projects in excess of 500MW must be developed by the private sector as IWPPs.

The Khiran plant will be the country’s second IWPP. The first project will be built at Al-Zour North and is to have a capacity of 1,500MW of power and 102-107 million g/d. A preferred bidder has been selected for the project.