Interested companies have been given until 21 July to submit prequalifications for the build-own-operate (BOO) project. Prequalified developers will bid for the scheme on the basis of developing, financing, design, engineering, construction, ownership, operation and maintenance of the grassroots plant. The project is expected to go for tender in September, while the first power is due on stream by the summer of 2006.

Output from the gas-fired plant will meet demand in the new Sohar industrial area, as well as supply the northern grid. The Sohar plant will be the sultanate’s fifth private generator after the Al-Manah, Al-Kamil, Barka and Salalah projects. The respective developers on the four projects are Belgium’s Tractebel, the UK’s International Power, the US’ AES Corporationand PSEG Global, also of the US.

The ministry is being advised on the Sohar IWPP by a team made up of Societe Generalewith Denton Wilde & Sapte, BankMuscatand Germany’s Fichtner.