Maaden power scheme moves forward

05 December 2003
Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden)is pressing ahead with the implementation of a captive power and desalination plant at Jubail, but is keeping open the option to carry out the project on a private basis or as an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) scheme. The plant will provide power, steam and desalinated water to Maaden's planned aluminium and alumina facilities in Jubail.

Local and international companies have been invited by Maaden to submit statements of qualification documents by 10 December for the contract to act as developer on the project. Five international developers are understood to have been contacted by Maaden. They are UAE-based AES Oasis Energy, International Powerof the UK, Mitsui & Companyand Mitsubishi Corporation, both of Japan, and Korea Electric Power Company (Kepco). Among the local companies that have been approached are Arabian Bemco Contracting, Saudi Binladin Group and Saudi Oger.

The development follows the completion of a comprehensive feasibility study by the US' Bechtelon the project, outlining both the private and the EPC option for Maaden. The client has not made a decision as to how to proceed with the scheme. However, it is understood that Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Companyand Daelim Industrial Company, both of South Korea, and the US' Bechtel have been approached for the EPC option.

A team of financial advisers including Riyad Bankhas already been appointed. The legal adviser is the London office of Baker & MacKenzie. No mandate has yet been awarded for the role of the technical adviser. However, sources close to the project say an appointment is expected soon.

The oil-fired power plant will have capacity of 1,500 MW, with desalination capacity still to be determined. Maaden president and chief executive Abdallah Dabbagh told MEED in September that the company was negotiating a 'fixed price, long-term oil supply agreement for 25 years' with Saudi Aramco(Saudi Arabia, MEED Special Report, 26:9:03, pages 59-62).

Maaden plans to develop the kingdom's bauxite and phosphate mines at Al-Zabirah and Al-Jalamid respectively. Together with Saudi Ogerthe company is also in the process of selecting a consultant to prepare detailed technical designs for the minerals railway project aimed at linking the mines with Jubail (see Industry; MEED 14:11:03).

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