A group led by Japan’s Marubeni Corporationhas emerged as the frontrunner for Abu Dhabi’s proposed Taweelah B independent water and power project (IWPP) following the submission of bids in early July.

The group, which also contains Dubai-based BTU Powerand has Malaysia’s Powertek Berhadas the proposed operator, bid $1,690 million for the existing facility and the proposed expansion project. Japan’s JGC Corporationis the group’s main engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, Italy’s Fisia Italimpiantiwill work on the desalination component and Germany’s Siemenswill provide the turbines (MEED 11:6:04). The group has BNP Paribas, ANZ Investment Bankand Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau as its financial team.

Belgium’s Tractebelwith International Powercame second with a bid of $1,590 million. The group’s EPC contractors are a Japanese team led by Mitsui & Company, with Hitachi providing the power island and Hitachi Zosen Corporationthe desalination package. A third group of Total with Sidem, both of France, bid $1,336 million.

The Total-led group was the only consortium to base the scope of their desalination proposal on multi-effect distillation (MED) technology, with the other bidders quoting for multi-stage flash (MSF) units. The Taweelah IWPP entails the acquisition of the existing B station, which has total capacity of 1,070 MW and almost 100 million gallons a day (g/d) of desalination.

The selected developer will be required to install additional capacity to bring output up to 2,000 MW and 160 million g/d of water. Total is offering an additional 138 MW as part of its bid.

All three bidders based their submissions on power supply tariffs of AED 0.1042 per kW/h and AED 13.62 per 1,000 imperial gallons.

Abu Dhabi Electricity & Water Authority (ADWEA), the client, is intending to sign final contract agreements by December. The project’s advisory team on is made up of Germany’s Fichtner (technical), HSBC (financial), White & Case(international legal) and Simmons & Simmons(local legal).