Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) is set to tender its next independent water project (IWP) sooner than previously planned.

Demand for water in the sultanate has increased at a faster pace than anticipated over the past year prompting the Public Authority for Electricity & Water (PAEW) to revise its capacity building plans.

Two IWPs are already planned for Quriyat and Suwayq. Bids to build the 40-million-gallon-a-day Quriyat IWP were to be invited in the third quarter of 2013 with a deadline for the first quarter of 2014. The project was originally planned to enter operations in the first quarter of 2016.

Suwayq IWP was to be tendered in 2014 in time for a commercial operations date of the first quarter of 2017. The project is to have a capacity of 50 million g/d and both projects will use reverse osmosis technology.

Due to rapidly rising demand for water, OPWP is set to tender the projects at an earlier date and is currently engaged in site selections studies. OPWP issues a report in March every year on supply and demand forecasts for the next seven years. It is expected to issue the next plan on 31 March. In its forecast, anticipated water demand figures are expected to be higher than in previous forecasts.