Ras Laffan IWPP off the blocks

29 October 2001

The key project agreements were signed in Doha on 24 October for the Ras Laffan independent water and power project (IWPP). The next step in the implementation of the estimated $700 million project is expected to come in early November with the signing of the financing agreement. The 750-MW, 40 million gallon-a-day IWPP will be undertaken on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis and meet power demand in the Ras Laffan industrial city, as well as domestic demand outside (MEED 21:9:01).

The key agreements signed were:

the shareholders' agreement for the project company, Ras Laffan Power Company (RLPC). Its shareholders are the US' AES Corporationwith a 55 per cent stake, Qatar Electricity & Water Company (QEWC- 25 per cent), Qatar Petroleum (QP- 10 per cent), and Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC- 10 per cent)

a 25-year power and water purchase agreement signed between the project company and Qatar Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa)

a 25-year fuel supply agreement signed between RLPC and QP

a seawater agreement providing for QP to meet RLPC's seawater-cooling requirements

an operation and maintenance (O&M) agreement signed between RLPC and AES Ras Laffan Operating Company, a new company majority-owned by the US developer

The financing documents are due to be signed in early November between RLPC and a 10-strong bank group, which will lead arrange the 18-year, $600 million loan. The group is made up of Industrial Bank of Japan, Barclays Capital, Arab Banking Corporation, Gulf International Bank, ANZ Investment Bank, Societe Generale, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, BNP Paribas, HSBC, and Qatar National Bank. The loan will cover about 75 per cent of the project's costs with the remaining 25 per cent being provided in equity by RLPC.

Loan disbursements are due to start as soon as the financing package is signed. This will allow RLPC to issue the final notice to proceed to its Italian engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, a group made up of Enelpower and Fisia Italimpianti. The group has been working on the project under an initial notice to proceed since its selection as EPC contractor in May (MEED 8:6:01).

The first power from the Ras Laffan IWPP is scheduled for March 2003. Full commissioning is set for May 2004.

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