The bid expected from Belgium’s Tractebel and Italy’s Enelpower has the latter as its nominated engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the project’s power island and South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Company for the desalination component. Backing the bid is a strong banking group comprising Barclays Capital, BNP Paribasand Credit Agricole Indosuez.

The bid anticipated from the UK’s International Power (IP)with Mitsui & Companyand Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), both of Japan, has Japanese firms Toshiba Corporationnominated for the power complex EPC and Hitachi Zosenfor the desalination. No bank group has formally been assembled, but it is understood that HSBC Investment Bankand ANZ Investment Bankmight fall into place behind this proposal.

The third major bid for the Umm al-Nar project is expected to come from France’s TotalFinaElf. Germany’s Siemensis the nominated EPC contractor for the power aspect and France’s Sidemhas been named for the desalination component. As with the IP-led group, no banks have formally aligned themselves to this bid, but ABN AMROis expected to do so.

The groups have been asked to submit their proposals by 22 September. A total of eight groups were prequalified to bid (MEED 12:4:02).

Developers will bid for the project on the basis of taking a 40 per cent stake in a new project company, which will purchase 70 million gallons a day (g/d) of recently installed capacity. It will also be responsible for installing 1,500 MW of new generating capacity and up to 25 million g/d of new desalination capacity.