Syria’s state-owned electricity generating company will delay issuing a request for proposals for the country’s first independent power project (IPP), to give the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) time to review the project.

The Public Establishment of Electricity for Generation & Transmission had planned to issue the request for proposals in October.

“We have concluded an agreement with the IFC”, says Hisham Mashfej, general manager of the utility. “It will review all the procedures since we issued the request for qualification. We insist on IFC involvement to ensure 100 per cent transparency.

“We will work with the IFC to prepare the request for proposals, but this will take a little bit of time,” says Mashfej.

The winning developer will build the plant on a build-own-operate or a build-operate-transfer basis under a 20-25 year concession.

The IPP will have capacity of 250-350MW and will be located at Al-Nassirieh, 60 kilometres north of Damascus. It will run on heavy fuel oil and gas.

In September, MEED reported that the state-owned utility had shortlisted two groups to bid for the IPP: Marafeq, which is a joint venture of Syria’s Cham Holding with several Kuwaiti firms; and a joint venture of Finland’s Wartsila and Greece’s Terna Energy.

A total of five groups applied to prequalify in June.

The other three groups are led by the UAE’s Creative Energy Resources, Russia’s Escous Energy, and Syria’s Kanan Trading.