The prices announced are for the four-turbine option, which calls for the installation of 1,000 MW of capacity. The client had originally envisaged awarding two separate contracts, each comprising two 250-MW turbines, but asked bidders to quote for both packages following positive indications that finance will be made available for the second phase.

For the first phase, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has pledged to lend $150 million, while the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and the Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development have each pledged $75 million. The three agencies have indicated they are prepared to finance the second phase as well, project sources say.

The Nuberiya bidders have also quoted for the gas turbine package on the 750-MW second phase of the Cairo North power station project, for which bids were submitted in late January. This phase is to be financed by Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau, Japan Bank for International Co-operation and the Export-Import Bank of the US. MHI/Tomen won the $102 million gas turbines contract on the first phase (MEED 10:1:02).

The consultant on both projects is the local/US Power Generation Engineering & Services Company (PGESCo). The two projects are part of an emergency power plant construction programme, which also envisages the construction of two additional 750-MW plants at Talkha and Kureimat, for which the Egyptian Electricity Holding Companyis attempting to secure financing.

Despite the relatively rapid tendering process for the Cairo North 2 and Nuberiya schemes, awards for both projects are awaiting completion of the power sector masterplan, which is being drawn up by Nexantof the UK and financed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).