Muscat is considering a series of major changes to its planned independent water and power project (IWPP) at Duqm on the country’s east coast and plans to retender the main advisory deals on the scheme in the second quarter of the year.

Oman Power & Water Procurement Company (OPWP) is currently reviewing a number of aspects of the project including feedstock, location and capacity.

In February, the company said that it was considering building the project as a gas-fired facility rather than using coal as a feedstock as it had originally planned.  The announcement was seen as a U-turn in Oman’s fuel policy.

OPWP is now reconsidering many other aspects associated with the project including possible siting and capacity changes.

OPWP appointed the UK’s KPMG as financial adviser and Australia’s WorleyParsons as technical consultant on the project in September 2009, adding UK law firm Simmons & Simmons as legal advisor in November.

However, the advisory mandates were based on the initial coal-fired power plant proposal and OPWP plans to re tender the consultancy work within the next month.

The review has also derailed the construction schedule for the project. OPWP had set a deadline of April 2010 for expressions of interest from developers and was start prequalifying firms shortly after (MEED 16:12:09).

A request for proposals was to follow in September 2010 and an award was to be made in August 2011.

Since the project has been effectively pushed back to the initial tender and feasibility study stages, it is expected to move ahead at a much later date. However, should the OPWP go ahead with the gas-fired facility, it would take around two years less to build the plan than for a coal-fired facility.