Three consortiums submitted bids for the project on 29 June. They are: a team of the local Acwa Power Projects and Korean Electric Power Corporation (Kepco); Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation with Malaysia’s Malakoff International and the local Al-Jomaih Automotive Company; and Belgium’s Suez Energy International with Japan’s Marubeni Corporation.

A power and water purchase agreement will be signed by the end of December and financial close is targeted for February 2009.

In early July, media reports stated that Sumitomo had been nominated as the first-ranked bidder, but WEC swiftly denied the news. The Japanese-led consortium submitted the lowest tariff (MEED 30:6:08).