Four international contractors have been invited to bid by 27 November for the contract to build a 1,500-MW power station at Subiya. The client, the Energy Ministry, is expected to make an award in the first quarter of 2006 on the two-year project.

The four prequalified companies are: France’s Alstom; GE Power Systemsof the US; Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI); and Germany’s Siemens. A pre-tender meeting will be held on 30 October, but it is understood that not all the contractors are likely to bid. The scope of works for the estimated KD 250 million-300 million ($862 million-1,034 million) engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract calls for the construction of the combined-cycle plant as well as the provision of operations and maintenance over a fixed period.

The scheme is being fast-tracked. Demand for electricity is rising rapidly in the fast-growing state, and the plant will serve both Kuwait City as well as the new city at Subiya (MEED 7:10:05).

The plant will be gas-fired, which has led to speculation that it will be fuelled by gas imported from Iran, Iraq or Qatar, as Kuwait has very little available gas of its own. No definitive agreements have been reached with the three countries, although protocol agreements have been signed. The release of tender documents may be an indication that the government is confident that a final deal will be reached soon.

The lack of available gas is the principal reason for the delay to the 2,500-MW Al-Zour North generation project. The tender for the estimated $2,000 million project is not now expected until Q1 2006. Another tender is due to be issued later in the year for the Shuaiba North power and desalination plant (MEED 18:3:05).