Finland’s Wartsila has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build the 120MW Musandam independent power project (IPP) in the northern region of Oman.

Wartsila will design and build the gas-fired power plant, and will provide operation and maintenance services at the facility for a period of 15 years. The plant will be located at Tibat Wilayat Bukha in the Musandam governorate.

Construction of the plant is expected to start before the end of 2014, and the facility is scheduled for full commissioning in the final quarter of 2016.

The IPP is being developed by Musandam Power Company, a new entity established by a consortium led by Oman Oil Company (OOC) and including South Korea’s LG International Corporation to develop the power plant. The project power company will develop the facility under the supervision of Oman Power & Water Procurement Company (OPWP).

The Musandam plant will operate under a power purchase agreement (PPA) with OPWP for supply of electricity to Rural Area Electricity Company (Raeco), which owns and operates Musandam’s generation and distribution system.

In May 2013, OOC announced that 16 contractors had been prequalified to participate in the tender for the EPC contract.

The IPP will be primarily fuelled by natural gas, with a back-up facility for using fuel oil. The plant’s technology will be based on reciprocating engines or gas turbines, in open or combined-cycle configuration.

The power plant is being built in parallel with the Musandam gas plant, which will have the capacity to treat 45 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas and 20,000 barrels a day (b/d) of oil. The $600m gas processing facility is currently being built by South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction.

The IPP is part of a strategy to move Musandam away from diesel-fired power generation. The governorate currently relies on small diesel-fired units, which may be retained for back-up security once the gas-fired power plant is operational.