Kuwait’s Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) has invited developers to express interest in the Al-Khiran independent water and power project (IWPP).

The Al-Khiran IWPP is expected to have a power generation capacity of 1,500MW and a water desalination capacity of 125 million gallons a day (g/d). The power component will use steam turbines and the plant will operate on low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) as its primary fuelstock, with natural gas, gas oil or crude oil as back-up fuels. Developers have until 15 March to submit an expression of interest (EoI) in the project.

The selected developer will establish a joint stock company in accordance with Kuwait’s IWPP law, with the contract scheduled to establish an off-take agreement with Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) for a maximum period of 40 years.

The prospects for the Al-Khiran project have been greatly enhanced by the recent signing of contracts for the Al-Zour North IWPP, Kuwait’s first IWPP project. On 12 December, the PTB signed an energy conversion and water purchase agreement (ECWPA), also known elsewhere in the region as a power purchase agreement (PPA), with a UK/French GDF Suez-led consortium to develop the IWPP.

The gas-fired Al-Zour plant will have a power generation capacity of 1,500MW and a desalination capacity of 107 million g/d.

The winning consortium includes Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation and local Abdullah Hama al-Sagar & Brothers, which combined with GDF Suez hold 40 per cent of the shares in the project company. An additional 10 per cent is being held by Kuwait’s sovereign wealth funds Kuwait Investment Authority and Public Institution for Social Security. The remaining 50 per cent of shares were subject to an initial public offering (IPO) that was fully subscribed earlier this year.

South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), in partnership with France’s Sidem, has been awarded the $1.4bn contract to build the Al-Zour North plant.

The PTB and the MEW is also planning to push ahead with the next phase of the Al-Zour development, Al-Zour North 2 IWPP. In June, 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.