The Oman Power & Water Procurement Company (OPWP) has invited companies to bid for a contract to provide a water recirculation study in preparation for a planned independent water project (IWP) at Barka.

The water recirculation study will include selecting the best location for the seawater intake and outfall infrastructure required for the proposed plant. Consultants have until 22 February to submit proposals for the study. The new IWP is expected to have a total desalination capacity of about 50 million imperial gallons a day (MIGD).

In January, Acwa Power Barka, the project company for the Barka 1 independent water and power project (IWPP) in Oman, signed a water purchase agreement (WPA) with OPWP to expand the capacity of the existing Barka 1 independent water and power project (IWPP) by 12.5 MIGD.

This will be the second upgrade of the desalination capacity of the Barka 1 plant, with the same developer having recently completed a 10 MIGD expansion.

The existing Barka 2 IWPP has a desalination capacity of about 26 MIGD.

The new Barka IWP will be the latest of a number of new desalination projects tendered in recent years. In December, Singapore’s Hyflux was awarded the contract to develop the 44 MIGD Qurayyat IWP, which will utilise reverse osmosis (RO) technology.

In January, OPWP issued a tender for consultancy services for three IWP projects. The work involves providing project management and technical consultancy services during the construction, commissioning and testing of the Barka I phase II expansion, Qurayyat IWP and Sur IWP expansion build-own-operate (BOO) projects.

In Oman’s Main Interconnected System (MIS) and Sur Zone, water demand is expected to increase by 6 per cent a year, from 238 million cubic metres in 2013 to 349 cubic metres in 2020.