• Prequalified consortiums have until 2 August to submit bids
  • Independent power project will be located over two sites
  • Acccording to sources close to project, seven groups have been prequalified

Oman Power & Water Procurement Company (OPWP) has invited prequalified groups to submit bids for the contract to build the Sohar 3/Ibri independent power project (IPP), which will have a total capacity of up to 3,200MW.

The scheme is the largest IPP undertaken in the sultanate to date, and will be split between the two sites in Sohar and Ibri. The plants are being tendered as one developer contract, but a separate special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be formed for each plant.

 The submission date for bids for the developer contract is 2 August.

According to sources close to the project, OPWP has prequalified seven groups to participate in the tendering process. OPWP had received prequalification entries from 11 consortiums in August last year.

The consortiums are:

The IPP is part of the government’s efforts to meet rising demand for power in the Main Interconnected System (MIS), the sultanate’s main grid, and follows on from the Sur IPP, which will add 2,000MW to the MIS grid when commissioned.

According to OPWP, in its latest seven-year statement, which sets out forecasts for 2014-20, peak demand is expected to grow at an average of 10 per cent a year, from 4,455MW in 2013 to 9,133MW in 2020.

OPWP is also pressing ahead with plans for a new IPP in the southern Salalah system to meet rising demand for power. MEED recently reported that a consortium led by Japan’s Mitsui has emerged as the frontrunner for the Salalah 2 IPP in Oman.

According to sources close to the project, the Mitsui/ Acwa Power (Saudi Arabia)/Sepco 3 (China) consortium is the only bidder still in negotiations with OPWP for the contract to develop the 300-400MW power project in the southern Dhofar governorate.

The IPP follows the commissioning of the Salalah independent water and power project (IWPP), which began commercial operations in May 2012. The gas-fired plant has a total generation capacity of 445MW, while its seawater desalination component has a total production capacity of 15 million gallons a day (g/d). Local/Singaporean joint venture Sembcorp Salalah Power & Water Company will provide power to OPWP for 15 years.

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