Singapore’s Sembcorp has started construction work on the $1bn Salalah independent water and power project in Oman.

The company held a groundbreaking ceremony on 10 February. Oman Investment Corporation is Sembcorp’s partner on the project.

The plant is scheduled to begin operating commercially in the first half of 2012. The facility will have capacity of 445MW of power and 15 million gallons a day of desalinated water.

The IWPP is the single largest project won by a Singaporean company in Oman and has increased the value of Singaporean investments in the country sevenfold.

The client is the Oman Power & Water Procurement Company.