Qatar has inaugurated the $3.9bn Ras Laffan C independent water and power project (IWPP). At 2,730MW of power and 63 million gallons a day of water capacity, the IWPP will be Qatar’s largest.

The plant was opened on 31 May. Qatar Electric Power Company (QEWC) has a 45 per cent stake in the project, while Qatar Petroleum owns 15 per cent. France’s GDF-Suez and Japan’s Mitsui have a 20 per cent stake each. The developer partners were selected for the contract in March 2008.

The project benefited from export credit agency (ECA) financing from Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Italy’s Sace and Export Development Canada, along with two local banks, a development bank and 19 international lenders.

The electricity and water will be sold through a 25-year power and water purchase agreement with Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa).

QEWC expects power requirements to rise to almost 10GW in 2020, compared to 7.6GW today, while the country’s water needs would almost double, from 1.1 million cubic metres a day (cm/d) in 2011 to around 2.1 million cm/d in 2020.