Eleven developers applied in July to prequalify for the project. They are France’s Total; Belgium’s Tractebel; International Power of the UK; AES Corporationof the US; Nissho Iwai, Sumitomo Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, and Mitsui & Company, all of Japan; Canada’s SNC Lavalin Thermal Power; National Thermal Power Company (NTPC) with BHEL, both of India; and Iran Power Plant Projects Management Company (Mapna – MEED 8:8:03).

The plant will have the capacity to generate between 480-550 MW and treat 30 million gallons a day of water. Developers will bid for the scheme on the basis of financing, design, engineering, construction, ownership, operation and maintenance of the grass roots plant. ‘The ministry has been slow processing the documentation but people are still scrambling for partners on the deal,’ says one developer looking at the project. The government is being advised on the scheme by a team of Denton Wilde Sapte, with Societe Generale, BankMuscatand Germany’s Fichtner.