Oman Power & Water Procurement Company (OPWP) has shortlisted seven out of the eight bidders for the planned Barka and Sohar independent power projects (IPPs).

According to project sources, OPWP’s advisers had recommended that it shortlist three companies for each project, but the client has chosen to eliminate only the US’ Balkan Energy from the list.

The remaining bidders for the two plants include Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power International with Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction; Japan’s Marubeni Corporation with Chubu Electric, also of Japan, and Qatar Electricity & Water Company; and the UK’s International Power with UAE-based Mubadala Development Company, the local National Trading Company and French contractor Alstom.

Saudi Oger and Korea Electric Power Corporation have also been shortlisted in a team with South Korean contractor Daewoo Engineering & Construction; as has Belgium’s Suez Energy International with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jomaih Group, Germany’s Siemens and South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction; and India’s Lanco Infratech with Korea Plant Service & Engineering.

Iran’s Mapna Group has been shortlisted to bid for just the Sohar plant.

OPWP has invited the seven bidding groups to attend a meeting on 27 January. It is not clear what the purpose of the meeting is, but bidders say they expect OPWP to open their commercial bids.

The developers submitted their technical and commercial proposals in early December.

OPWP had not asked them to take part in a separate prequalification process, choosing instead to include its qualification criteria in the request for proposals.

Each of the IPPs will have capacity of 650-750MW of power.