New moves in power sector

26 April 2002

International investors are pressing ahead with negotiations to reach financial close and final agreements for four independent power projects (IPPs), and investors have shown strong interest in one more scheme. Iran Power Development Company (IPDC)is in charge of the government's IPP programme, which calls for the construction of five power plants on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis (MEED 1:3:02).

On Iran's first BOT power project, the 1,000-MW combined cycle Parehsar plant, Italy's Sondel, Germany's Dillinger Stahl (DSD)and Mapna International, the Dubai-registered affiliate of the state-owned Iran Power Plant Projects Management Company (Mapna), are finalising arrangements to invite engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors following the completion of project documentation earlier this year. WestLBand Mediobancain January were appointed joint advisers on the estimated Eur 600 million ($534 million) scheme (MEED 25:1:02).

WestLB is also acting as the lead arranger for the Parehsar debt package. The bank is aiming to reach financial close by the end of July, according to the schedule included in the energy conversion agreement (ECA) signed with IPDC in mid 2001. However, industry sources say the deadline may be extended by six months.

Negotiations are progressing between IPDC and Saudi investors Xenel Industriesand Saudi Ogerabout the development of another two BOT projects. Saudi Oger is pressing ahead with negotiations about financial, technical and commercial details for the 1,000-MW Ali Abad combined cycle station. It is understood that the group has also invited prices from international EPC contractors.

Saudi Oger will carry out the BOT project in a team that includes a major European developer and Japan's Nissho Iwai(MEED 21:12:01).

Industry sources say IPDC's talks with Xenel are on target to produce a final agreement in October for the construction of a 1,000-MW, combined cycle station in Tabriz. Xenel and IPDC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop Iran's third BOT power project last December (MEED 1:2:02).

Negotiations about a final agreement for the advisory mandate for a fourth BOT project, the combined cycle, 1,000-MW Jalal power plant, are ongoing between IPDC and ABB Financial Services. Both sides signed an MoU in 2001.

IPDC may reconsider its tender plans for a fifth BOT project following the unsolicited submission of a proposal by a group of foreign investors, industry sources say. It is understood that at least one Japanese investor is involved in the proposal. The 1,000-MW combined cycle plant, which will be located at Shirvan in Khorassan province, was initially planned to be tendered in May.

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