Oman Power & Water Procurement Company (OPWP) has invited developers to express interest in its new independent water and power project at Ghubrah.

Companies must submit letters of interest by 10 February.

OPWP will not issue a separate request for prequalification. Instead it will specify qualification criteria for the project in the request for proposals, which it plans to issue in February.

The deadline for the submission of proposals will be in May and OPWP plans to select a preferred bidder in July. A contract award is scheduled for October.

The plant will have capacity of 450-600MW of power and 30 million gallons a day of desalinated water.

OPWP will enter into a 15-year power and water purchase agreement with the winning developer. The Finance Ministry will not provide a guarantee of the utility’s payment obligations for the scheme.

The Oil & Gas Ministry will supply the project with natural gas.

The plant will begin producing power on 1 April 2012 and full commercial operation is set to begin on 1 April 2013.

Ernst & Young is the financial adviser on the project. The UK’s DLA Piper is the legal adviser and British Power International is the technical adviser.