Eleven international developers applied for prequalification for the IWPP and it is understood that 10 have been prequalified. They are: France’s Total; Belgium’s Tractebel; International Powerof the UK; AES Corporationof the US; Nissho Iwai, Sumitomo Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, and Mitsui & Company, all of Japan; Canada’s SNC Lavalin; Thermal Power, and National Thermal Power Company (NTPC)with BHEL, all of India.

The ministry is aiming to shortlist bidders in late May and is looking to award the contract in early July. The government will sign a 15-year power and water purchase agreement with the successful bidder. The first power from Sohar is envisaged by the summer of 2006, with the plant’s full commissioning a year later.

The ministry is being advised on the Sohar IWPP by a team made up of Societe Generalewith Denton Wilde & Sapte, BankMuscatand Germany’s Fichtner.