The Energy & Mineral Resources Ministry is to issue by year-end tender documents for the country’s first independent power project (IPP), a 300-MW combined cycle power plant near Amman.

Sources at the ministry say that request for proposals (RFP) documents for the estimated $200 million facility are ’95 per cent complete’ and all that remains to be resolved is the location of the plant. About three sites are thought to be under consideration, with the likely location to be to the east of the city. The plant is expected to be powered by natural gas from Egypt. The US’ K&M Engineering & Consulting Corporationis preparing the tender documents for a build-own-operate (BOO) contract.

The RFP will be issued once the ministry completes its sale of 65 per cent of state-owned electricity provider Central Electricity Generating Company (Cegco), which is expected to be towards the end of the year. The role of Cegco as offtaker is one of the central issues for the IPP project and Amman fears that the inclusion of new commitments during its privatisation would delay the process. Project sources say the World Bank agreed in early July to provide partial risk support credit to the IPP (MEED 9:15:04).

The project is Amman’s second attempt to involve the private sector in building new generation capacity. In 2002, Cegco agreed with Belgium’s Tractebelan IPP deal to build a 450-MW plant at Kherbet al-Samra. In February 2003, Tractebel pulled out and Cegco switched to an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) model (see page 18; MEED 27:2:04).