The Oman Power & Water Procurement Company (OPWP) is preparing to tender the contract to develop its next independent water project (IWP) by the end of March.

OPWP received prequalification entries from 12 developers in October last year for the contract to develop the Qurayyat IWP, which will be located just south of the capital Muscat. According to sources close to the project, OPWP is preparing to issue tender documents to prequalified bidders by the end of the month. The client has not yet released the list of prequalifiers.

The proposed IWP will have a capacity of up to 46 million imperial gallons a day (MIGD), or 207,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d), of water.

Spanish firms accounted for five of the 12 prequalification entries, with three UAE firms and two each from Singapore and Japan.

The developers that submitted prequalification entries in October are:

  • Abengoa (Spain)
  • Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) (UAE)
  • Acciona (Spain)
  • Cobra Instalaciones Y Servicios (Spain)
  • GS INIMA (Spain)
  • Hyflux (Singapore)
  • Itochu (Japan)
  • PAL Technology Services (UAE)
  • Sembcorp (Singapore)
  • Sumitomo Corporation (Japan)
  • Utico (UAE)
  • Valoriza Agua (Spain)

One of the companies bidding for prequalification is Sumitomo Corporation, which in February 2013 signed the contract to develop an IWP at Ghubrah, located in the Muscat governorate. Sumitomo, along with Spain’s Cadagua and Malaysia’s Malakoff International, signed the deal to establish a project company that will obtain a licence to build, own and operate (BOO) the 191,000 cm/d plant. Sumitomo and Malakoff will each hold a 45 per cent stake in the scheme, with Cadagua owning the remainder.

Demand for water in the sultanate increased at a faster rate than anticipated in 2012, prompting the Public Authority of Electricity & Water (PAEW) to revise capacity-building plans for water projects. Water demand in the northern region, which includes the Main Interconnected System (MIS), Sur zone and Duqm zone, is expected to increase by 6 per cent a year, from 597,430 cm/d in 2012 to 866,00 cm/d in 2019. In the southern Salalah region, water demand is also expected to grow at a rate of 6 per cent, from 61,000 cm/d in 2012 to 88,000 cm/d in 2019.