State-owned utility Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) is on schedule to begin issuing the engineering, procurement and construction tender for the planned Ras al-Zour power and water project in Saudi Arabia on 5 December.

The deadline for bids is 20 March and SWCC will open the proposals a day later.

The utility is still prequalifying bidders and will continue to do so indefinitely.

Bidders are allowed to apply to qualify for either the power or desalination package, or both.

The combined-cycle power plant will have capacity of 2,400MW. The desalination plant will have capacity of 226 million gallons a day of water. It will use thermal and reverse osmosis technology.

Construction on the project is scheduled to start in June 2010. The plant will start producing power on 1 December 2012 and full commercial operations will begin on 31 December 2013.