Muscat / Emirates Business
As many as eight international companies have been pre-qualified to bid for developing independent water projects (IWPs) at Salalah, Shaqiyah and Duqm.
The Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) , which oversees the procurement of all new electricity generation and water desalination capacity in the country, said that these firms comprise a consortium of International Company for Water and Power Projects, Veolia Middle East and Dhofar International Development and Investment; a consortium between Degremont Middle East and Itochu Corporation; GS Inima Environment, Hyflux, JGC Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, Sembcorp Utilities and Tecnicas de Desalination de Aguas.
The companies are selected after a request for qualification (RfQ) tender floated by the state-owned OPWP in December last year. Like other independent water projects, the successful bidder or bidders will secure a mandate for the development, financing, design, engineering, construction, ownership, operation and maintenance of one or more of the independent water projects.
The three water schemes will together add 52.8 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) of new capacity to the countryâ€™s rapidly expanding domestic water generation capacity.
According to earlier reports, the proposed Salalah and Sharqiya desalination projects will have capacities of 22 MIGD and 17.6 MIDG, respectively. Similarly, Duqm IWP will have a water desalination capacity of 13.2 MIGD. This is aimed at meeting the growing demand for water in different regions. To meet the growing demand for potable water a commercial operation date for the plants is being targeted in early 2019 for Salalah independent water project and the second quarter of 2020 for Sharqiyah independent water project.
Demand for potable water in Omanâ€™s northern region, which include Muscat governorate, is projected to grow by six per cent per annum in the next five year horizon, from 238 million cubic metres in 2013 to 349 million cubic metres in 2020. This compares to the previous seven-year forecasts in which average annual growth was in the range of three to five per cent, according to a seven-year outlook for power and water demand released by OPWP last year.
A combination of population growth and industrial development, including tourism projects, is cited as a major reason for the growth in demand for potable water.
In Salalah, the water demand is projected to grow at eight per cent, and peak water demand to increase from 75,000 cubic metres per day in 2013 to 132,000 cubic metres per day in 2020.
The proposed Qurayyat independent water project, developed by a consortium of Singaporeâ€™s Hyflux and National Power and Water Company, is going to have a designed capacity of 44 MIGD of potable water. The Qurayyat project is scheduled to commence commercial operations by May 2017, under a 20-year water purchase agreement with OPWP.