Sewa has issued a letter of intent to the group and ordered three gas turbines from GE. The combined-cycle plant will have capacity of 1,900MW.

France’s Alstom and a consortium of Europe’s ABB and Iraq’s Uruk Group had also submitted bids for the scheme in January. Awards were expected sooner, but in May Sewa entered talks with bidders over the pricing of the project.

The plant will be built in phases, with the first turbine due to come on line in 2010. Once the plant is working, the Hamriya site will have total capacity of 2,300MW.

Sewa is also in the final stages of negotiations with bidders for the contract to build a 40-million-gallon-a-day (g/d) desalination plant using multi-effect distillation technology at Hamriya. The utility has received three bids from France’s Sidem, Italy’s Fisia Italimpianti and the US’ Aquatech.

It is also carrying out the technical evaluation of six bids for an 80 million-g/d reverse osmosis desalination plant at the site. The bidders for the project are Austria’s Aqua Engineering, the US’ Aqua-tech, South Korea’s Doosan Engineering & Construction, Fisia Italimpianti, GE and Abu Dhabi-based Pal Technology (MEED 30:5:08).

Since 2007, Sharjah has had an installed generating capacity of 2,400MW, while demand for power is 1,700MW and growing at an annual rate of 9 per cent.