Siemens/Bemco team in front for Marib power station

20 August 2004
A team of Germany's Siemensand Saudi Arabia's Arabian Bemco Contractingis the frontrunner for the contract to build the Marib power station following the opening of prices by the client, state-owned Public Electricity Corporation (PEC). Prices were also opened on the packages to build the project's 400-kV and 132-kV gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) substations and the 200-kilometre, 400-kV transmission line (MEED 23:7:04).

Despite offering the highest overall price of $159 million for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build the single cycle Marib plant, the Siemens/Bemco team is the low bidder on the price per kW basis, which will be the determining factor for PEC when awarding the contract. Siemens/Bemco has offered to install 341.4 MW at Marib, which is equivalent to about $466 per kW. China's Harbin Power Engineering Company, which has submitted the lowest overall price at $125 million, ranks second on a price per kW basis. Harbin has offered to install 260.7 MW, which is equivalent to a price of about $479 per kW, using the US' GE turbines.

The other bidders for the contract are China's Dongfang Electric Corporationand Dubai-based Mapna International, a subsidiary of state-owned Iran Power Plant Projects Management Company (Mapna), with Nasir Bonyad Industrial & Construction Company (NICC), also of Iran. Both Harbin and the Mapna-led group have proposed GE turbines with capacity to generate 260.7 MW of power.

The contract will be awarded once the funding agencies, the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) and Kuwait-based Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development (AFESD), have approved the recommendation of PEC and the US' Kuljian Engineering, which is providing consultancy services throughout the bidding process. Germany's Lahmeyer Internationalhas the contract to supervise the construction of the power plant.

Commercial offers were also opened in early August for the EPC contracts to carry out the substation and the transmission line packages linked to the Marib power station. Iran's Parsian High Voltage Substations Development Companyis the low bidder at $45.8 million for the substation contract, followed by Hyundai Engineering & Construction Companyof South Korea at $63.1 million. Six commercial offers were opened for the transmission line package, with Hyundai offering the lowest price at $59.9 million. NICC is ranked second with a price of $63.7 million. Both contract awards are expected in late August or early September following final approval of the SFD and AFESD, which gave the green light to funding the substation and transmission line packages earlier this year.

Sources close to the project say Germany's Fichtnerhas been recommended by PEC for the contract to supervise construction of the substation and transmission line. The consultancy contract is financed by the government, which has yet to give final approval to the selection. Other bidders for the contract included Jordan's National Electric Power Company (Nepco)and Saudi Consulting Services (SaudConsult).

The Marib power plant will boost by a third Yemen's existing power generation capacity of 977 MW. Lahmeyer has been awarded a contract by PEC to draw up tender documents for a planned second-phase development at Marib, to be carried out as an independent power project (IPP). Marib phase 2 calls for a 400-MW power unit. It is expected to go for tender in late 2004 or the first quarter of 2005.

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