The Oman Power & Water Procurement Company (OPWP) has invited firms to submit proposals for the contract to carry out a social and environmental impact assessment (SEIA) for an independent power project (IPP).

Consultants have until 1 October to submit proposals for the environmental study. The client has not specified which project, or the fuel configuration of the plant for which the SEIA will be prepared. 

In June, OPWP postponed plans to tender a planned IPP at Misfah. OPWP had received prequalification entries from groups in January for the planned 800MW Misfah IPP. MEED reported in April that prequalified bidders had been notified by the client that it was considering folding in the re-privatisation of the existing Manah IPP, the first IPP in the GCC, in with the planned new Misfah plant.

However, on 20 June prequalified developers were informed by OPWP that it would not be proceeding with the tender, and was deferring the project for at least one year. The decision to postpone the tender due to a reduction in the forecasted demand for 2021, when the plant was due to be commercially operational.

According to a statement from OPWP, the reduction in forecasted demand is due to a number of factors, including efficiency in the power generation sector and the implementation of cost-reflective tariffs for electricity. The IPP was planned to be located at Misfah, about 30 kilometres from Muscat International airport.

OPWP is also planning to develop the country’s first coal-fired power plant under the IPP model. In May, the client received proposals for financial and commercial roles on the proposed plant.

OPWP has previously considered developing coal-fired power plants in the sultanate. In 2009, an advisory team of WorleyParsons of Australia and Netherlands-headquartered KPMG was selected for a proposed 1,000MW coal-fired IWPP at Duqm. Although coal was ranked the following year by the UK’s Mott MacDonald as the most economic feedstock available, the coal-fired option was dropped on environmental grounds.