The consortium of Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power and Japan’s Mitsui has been selected as preferred bidder for the 3,150MW Ibri/Sohar 3 independent power project (IPP) in Oman.

MEED reported in November that Acwa/Mitsui consortium was frontrunner for the Ibri/Sohar 3 power scheme, and now the group has been sent a letter stating their selection as preferred bidder by the Oman Power & Water Procurement Company (OPWP).

The Sohar/Ibri 3 project will be split between 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 Sohar facility will have a generation capacity of 1,700MW, and the Ibri plant will have a total capacity of 1,450MW.

While OPWP had apparently been considering awarding contracts to two developers for the split-site IPP in recent months, the client has decided to conform to the original plan and appoint a single developer for both plants.

The preferred bidder saw off competition from two other groups, led by the UK/France’s Engie and Japan’s Marubeni. The three groups had submitted tender clarifications on 1 November, after submitting commercial proposals on 30 August.

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 added 2,000MW to the MIS grid when it was commissioned at the end of 2014.

 Oman peak power demand

OPWP estimates that peak demand will grow in the MIS will grow at about 9 per cent a year, from 5,122MW recorded in 2014 to reach 9,530MW in 2021.

The consortium of Acwa Power and Mitsui was also successful in winning the contract to develop the Salalah 2 IPP in Oman’s southern Dhofar governorate in 2015.

MEED reported on 25 August that the consortium of Japan’s Mitsui & Company and Acwa Power reached financial close on the Salalah 2 IPP and secured project finance of approximately $450m. The new 445MW plant is estimated to cost $620m.

China’s Sepco 3 will be the consortium’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor to build the plant. The facility is scheduled for commissioning in January 2018.