The team of Tractebel and Kuwait’s Gulf Investment Corporationsubmitted a bid of BD 8.090 ($21.289) per MW/h, 15.9 per cent below the next lowest price, quoted by Korea Electric Power Company with Saudi Arabia’s Xenel Industries. The other three bidders are: Japan’s Marubeni Corporationwith US-based BTU Power; Dubai-based AES Oasis; and the UK’s International Powerwith Tokyo Electric Power Companyand Sumitomo Corporation, both of Japan.

Siemensof Germany is Tractebel’s nominated engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor. Its bank group is made up of HSBCand Societe Generale.

The Al-Ezzal IPP, the kingdom’s first private power project, calls for the developer to ensure the availability of 370-470 MW of generating capacity by 2006 and 1,000 MW by 2008. On current trends, power demand is due to outstrip supply in 2006, leading to the IPP being launched before a decision has been taken on the wider privatisation of the assets of the Ministry of Electricity & Water. BNP Paribas, the UK’s Mott MacDonaldand UK-based Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringerare the financial, technical and legal advisers (MEED 7:5:04).

The substantially lower bid by Tractebel is evidence of the company’s increasingly aggressive strategy in the region. The Belgian firm is also low bidder for the Sohar independent water and power project (IWPP) in Oman and was selected to enter negotiations with the government in May (see page 20; MEED 28:5:04).