• Ghubrah plant scheduled to come online in early 2016
  • Plant will have a total capacity of 42 million imperial gallons a day (MIGD)
  • Plant is being developed by Japan’s Sumitomo

The Ghubrah desalination plant in Oman has started trial operations and is on track to be fully commissioned in early 2016.

The chairman of the Public Authority for Electricity & Water (PAEW), Mohammad al-Mahruqi, told local press that trial operations had started on 2 July. The chairman said that initial trial runs would produce 50,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d) of desalinated water, before gradually being increased until it reaches the full 42 million imperial gallons a day (MIGD) capacity by early next year.

In February 2013, a consortium led by Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation signed the contract to develop the independent water project (IWP) at Ghubrah, located in the Muscat governorate.

Sumitomo, along with Spain’s Cadagua and Malaysia’s Malakoff International, signed the contract on 11 February to establish a project company that will obtain a licence to build, own and operate (BOO) the 42MIGD plant.

Al-Mahruqi also said the 12.5MIGD expansion of the Barka 1 independent water and power project (IWPP) was due to come online in early 2016. The expansion is being led by the Saudi developer Acwa Power International.

As part of the plans to meet the growing demand for water across the country, the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) is overseeing the development of major desalination plants.

In December 2014, OPWP awarded a contract to Singapore’s Hyflux to develop the 200,000 cm/d Qurayyat IQWP, which is scheduled to come online in 2017.

In February 2015, OPWP started the procurement process for proposed new IWPs at Barka and Sohar.

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