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11 firms vie for gigantic power plant in Oman



Muscat: As many as 11 international power giants have submitted their requests for prequalification to develop Oman's biggest gas-fired power plant, to be built in two locations, with a combined generation capacity of 2,600 megawatt. 

The companies that have submitted their request for qualification are CHD Power Plant Operational co-led consortium, EDF International, GDF Suez, General Electric-led consortium, Korea Electric Power Corporation, Mapna Group-led consortium, Marubeni Corporation, Mitsubishi-led consortium, Mitsui, Sembcorp Utilities-led consortium and Sojitez Corporation.

The state-owned Oman Power and Water Procurement (OPWP) floated a request for qualification by mid-June, giving potential developers to submit their proposals up to August 3 for developing the mega power plant within the main interconnected system (MIS) region.   

Power demand
As per the plan, part of the capacity will go on stream by 2017, while the full project will be ready by 2018. The project is to meet the growing demand for electricity, mostly driven by a surging population in the country.

The proposed project will have a capital expenditure of $1.5 billion, Ahmed Al Jahdhami, chief executive officer of OPWP, said earlier this year. Like any other IPP, the investment will be made by the winning international independent power producer.

The natural gas required for the power project will be sold to the developer at a pre-determined price by the government, while the sole purchaser of power will be OPWP.

The Sultanate's population, which grew to four million by early 2014, is a major factor that drives the demand for electricity, while industrial consumption and tourism development projects also accelerate the growth in consumption of power in the northern region.

A request for proposal (RfP) inviting bids from pre-qualified international power giants will be floated, once the authorities select pre-qualified companies.

Al Jahdhami earlier indicated that power plant could be split between Al Batinah and Ibri.
As per the seven-year power demand projection within the areas of main inter-connected system, the average annual demand is expected to grow by 9.5 per cent to 8,106 megawatt by 2019 in normal circumstances, while the growth could be around 7.6 per cent in 'low case' scenario and 11.4 per cent in 'high case' scenario to 7,190 megawatt and 9,133 megawatt, respectively, by 2019.

This is against a historical average annual growth of 10 per cent between 2007 and 2012.

This is also against two to three per cent growth in power demand in developed countries.  The private sector investment, mostly brought in by international power producers, in power and water projects has touched $7 billion.

Presently, there are only two government-owned power plants.

The Sur IPP, which is in an advanced stage of completion, is expected to generate 2,000MW of power (in two phases) soon, which will take the total power generation capacity of the country to 7,000MW.   

An IPP with a generation capacity of 100MW is under construction in Musandam, while OPWP is in the process of selecting a developer for the second IPP with a generation capacity of 300-400MW in Salalah.

To get in touch with reporter businesseditor@timesofoman.com

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