• Six groups have submitted prequalification documents for 750MW plant
  • Al-Samawa plant will be country’s first publicly tendered independent power project
  • Ministry hopes to issue request for proposals by end of May

Six groups have submitted bids for the contract to develop Iraq’s first publicly tendered independent power project (IPP), located in the Al-Samawa governorate in the south of the country.

MEED recently reported that the Electricity Ministry had received prequalification entries for the 750MW IPP in March, and it is understood a total of six developers entered the prequalification process.

The six firms are:

  • Farab (Iran)
  • Insistenza Group (US)
  • Mitsui Company (Japan)
  • Ruban al-Safena (local)
  • Uruk Engineering & Contracting (UAE)
  • Wamar International (US)

The prequalification entrants include developers from as far afield as the US and Japan, and also Uruk Engineering & Contracting, which has been heavily involved in developing power projects in Iraq in recent years.

MEED reported in January that the ministry had received expressions of interest (EoIs) from about 17 companies for the IPP.

According to sources close to the project, the ministry is hoping to have drawn up a firm prequalification list and issued request for proposals (RFPs) by the end of May.

The duration of the power purchase agreement (PPA) will be for a period of 17.5 years. If successful, the ministry intends to roll out further IPPs as part of a larger programme.

The scheme marks the first publicly tendered IPP since the collapse of the previous IPP programme in 2011. MEED reported earlier in 2014 that the Electricity Ministry was in discussions with developers for four directly negotiated IPPs.

The Al-Samawa plant will use GE turbines, which were purchased as part of the ministry’s mega-deal with the US’ GE and Germany’s Siemens in 2009 for turbines for fast-track power projects. The IPP is scheduled to use four 175MW turbines. As part of the scheme, bidders will be required to purchase the turbines.

MEED understands the ministry will be willing to provide financing for the turbines at a low-interest rate if required. While the authority is planning to develop the project as a combined-cycle plant, due to the urgent demand for power in the country, bidders can initially develop the facility as a simple-cycle plant and upgrade it to combined-cycle within 4.5 years from financial close.

Iraq’s previous IPP programme was initiated in 2008, when IPA Energy & Water Economics, a division of Lebanon’s Dar al-Handasah (Shair & Partners), was appointed to act as adviser to the Electricity Ministry. IPA produced a strategy paper in September 2009, which was approved by the cabinet in February 2010. Final transaction documents were provided to bidders in December 2010.

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