Manama has signed a 20-year offtake agreement with the developer, which is obliged to ensure the availability of 470 MW by the summer of 2006 – when current generating capacity is due to fall behind demand on current trends – and 1,000 MW in 2007. MoFNE’s advisers on the project were BNP Paribas, the UK’s Mott MacDonaldand UK-based Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer.

Total project costs are estimated at $500 million. Tractebel and GIC will jointly invest $120 million of paid-up capital in the project company, a portion of which is likely to be sold through an initial public offering (IPO). The remainder will be financed by a commercial loan secured from a club of nine banks led by HSBCand Societe Generale(see Banking & Finance).

Germany’s Siemensis the nominated engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor. The award is Tractebel’s second success in less than a month: the company signed up for the Sohar independent water and power project (IWPP) in Oman in July (MEED 9:7:04).