The Ministry of Electricity (MoE) has shortlisted two companies for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to rehabilitate units two and three at Hartha power station in the south. Technical and commercial bids were submitted by four companies at the end of 2005. The shortlisted companies are Iran's Azarab Energy and a Russian company identified as EEE. Italian and Romanian firms also submitted prices. The scope of works covers the complete rehabilitation and commissioning of two turbines to restore their original design capacity of 200 MW each. Feedstock for the plant will be delivered from neighbouring gas fields.
The 800-MW Hartha power plant is located about 33 kilometres from Basra and 25 kilometres from the Iranian border on the Shatt al-Arab waterway. Units one and four have been running intermittently since 2003, while units two and three have mostly been out of operation since the early 1990s. The rehabilitation programme is expected to take two years to complete and will be linked to the national electricity grid. Bidders were also invited to submit financial proposals for the estimated $150 million scheme. However, the project is now likely to fall under the auspices of the World Bank, which is expected to approve funding for the project imminently after completing a financial feasibility study.