Oman Power & Water Company (OPWP) is set to invite bids for an independent water project (IWP) at Al-Ghubrah by the summer.

According to a source close to the project, the tender is expected to be launched before Ramadan, which is due to start on 1 August.

OPWP last month awarded a RO656,000 ($1.7m) contract to a consortium of the UK’s KPMG and SNR Denton and Germany’s Fichtner to advise on a reverse-osmosis desalination plant.

The project was originally to be developed as an independent water and power project (IWPP). However, the power component of the project was dropped in June 2010 due to environmental concerns associated with the site.

A UK-based consortium of Ernst & Young, DLA Piper and British Power International was appointed to advise on the Al-Ghubrah IWPP, but were transferred to the Sur independent power project (IPP) in July 2010.

The water desalination-only plant at Al-Ghubrah is expected to have a capacity of about 42 million gallons a day.

The reverse-osmosis plant will help the sultanate to meet growing water demand requirements in the Muscat region.