• Commercial and financial, technical, and legal advisory services contract tendered for planned Salalah IWP
  • The new IWP will have a capacity of 18-22 MIGD
  • Peak water demand is growing at 8 per cent a year in the Dhofar region

The Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) has issued three tenders for consultancy services for the development of a new independent power project (IWP) in Salalah.

The deadline for bids for commercial and financial, technical, and legal advisory services is 13 April 2015.

The IWP will have a capacity of 18-22 million imperial gallons a day (MIGD), or 82,000–100,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d), and is scheduled to come online in 2019.

OPWP plans to tender and complete another IWP in Sharqiyah on the same timescale.

Dhofar’s Directorate General of Water (DGW) projects that peak water demand in the Salalah system, for the south of Oman, will increase by an average of 8 per cent a year until 2020, from 82,000cm/d in 2014 to 132,000 cm/d in 2020.

“We don’t expect any slowdown in infrastructure spending and investment in the next six or seven years. OPWP is planning new capacity based on projected population and economic growth rates,” says Ahmed al-Jahdhami, CEO of OPWP. “We are trying to influence demand, so it is better managed and more cost effective, by lobbying for energy efficiency measures.”

Existing capacity consists of Salalah independent water and power project (IWPP), owned and operated by Sembcorp Salalah Power and Water Company, of which Singapore’s Sembcorp Utilities owns a 40 per cent controlling stake. It has a capacity of nearly 69,000cm/d, and was commissioned in March 2012.

DGW currently uses groundwater resources of up to 60,000cm/d to supply remaining water needs, but is planning to move toward desalinated water except in emergencies.

OPWP is in discussions with three bidding consortiums over Salalah IPP, which will have a capacity of 300-400MW. An award is expected in March 2015.

Prequalification for two IWPs, in Barka and Sohar, was opened in February 2015. The new Barka reverse osmosis desalination plant will have a capacity of 280,000cm/d, while Sohar will have a capacity of 250,000cm/d.

Extensions were negotiated with the owners of Barka 1 IWPP and Sur IWP in 2014, and financing was secured in early 2015.

“2015 will be our busiest year ever,” says al-Jahdhami. “And 2016 could be even busier.”

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