Saudi Aramco is set to invite bids to build three greenfield gas-fired electricity and steam plants in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province this week. A request for proposals (RFP) will be issued to qualified bidders by 25 July.

Twelve companies have been prequalified to bid including:

  • Acwa Power (Saudi Arabia)
  • IP-GDF Suez (UK/France)
  • Kepco (South Korea)
  • Marubeni (Japan)
  • Sumitomo (Japan)
  • Saudi Oger (Saudi Arabia) and Powertek Berhad (Malaysia)
  • JGC Corporation (Japan) 
  • Sembcorp (Singapore)

The projects will be located at Abqaiq, Hawiyah and Ras Tanura and will have a total installed capacity of about 770MW of power and 2.95 million pounds an hour in steam output:

  • Abqaiq – 320MW and 1,200 thousand pounds an hour
  • Hawiyah – 130MW and 550 thousand pounds an hour
  • Ras Tanura – 320MW and thousand pounds an hour

The RFP was originally intended to be issued to developers on 12 July. Due to the slight delay in the issuance of the RFP, the schedule has been pushed back slightly. The revised RFP will state a bid submission date of 13 November.

The plants will be built as independent power projects (IPPs) on a build, own, operate and transfer basis, with the ownership of each project being transferred to Aramco 20 years after the start of commercial operations. Developers must submit proposals for all three projects to be eligible.

Each of the projects will convert fuel gas and feed water provided by Aramco into electricity and steam for sale under an energy conversion agreement.

Aramco may participate in the equity of the project company and may hold up to 50 per cent of the voting and economic rights, with the remaining voting and economic rights held by the selected developer group. This represents a departure for Saudi Aramco, as it has not taken an equity position in previous projects.

Each of the consortium members will be required to hold at least 20 per cent of the voting and economic rights held by the applicant in the project company upon its formation.

The selected developer will be required to construct the projects to meet the following commercial operation dates:

  • Hawiyah: November 2015
  • Abqaiq: January 2016
  • Ras Tanura: March 2016

Saudi Aramco is being advised by Germany’s Fichtner, the UK’s HSBC and law firm Dr Waleed N al-Nuwaiser in association with US-based White & Case.