Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), the sole buyer of all electricity and desalinated water output in the Oman Sultanate, plans to shortly invite prequalified bidders to submit proposals for the development of Independent Water Projects (IWP) in Sharqiyah and Dhofar governorates, a top official has revealed. Ahmed bin Saleh al Jahdhami, CEO of OPWP , said a Request for Proposals (RfP) representing the second stage of a competitive tender for a mandate to execute the two water schemes is imminent.
“The (IWPs) are right now under tender. Prequalification has been completed and the process is under approval. Hopefully, the RfP will be issued soon,” the official said in remarks to journalists on the sidelines of the signing of project agreements on Thursday linked to the establishment of the Barka Desalination Plant. As many as 10 leading international developers are in the fray for awards to develop IWPs in Sharqiyah and Salalah (Dhofar Governorate), having responded to OPWP ‘s Request for Qualifications (RfQ) covering the two water schemes, as well as a proposed IWP in Duqm (Wusta Governorate). The upcoming RfP, however, will only cover the Sharqiyah and Salalah IWPs, the CEO said.
Earlier in January, the state-owned power and water procurer announced that RfQs were received from the following interested groups: Abengoa; consortium with Seven Seas Water Corporation and Modern Channel as members; GS Inima; Hyflux; Sembcorp; Marubeni; Sojitz Corporation; ACWA Power with Veolia Middle East and Dhofar International Development and Investment Holding as members; Tedagua; and Degremont SAS with Itochu Corporation as member.Envisaged at Salalah is a 100,000 cubic metres per day capacity reverse osmosis plant slated for commercial launch in early 2019. The Sharqiyah scheme, sized at 80,000 cubic metres per day, is proposed to be brought on stream in two stages: the first by May 2019 and the next by May 2020.
Meanwhile, an award for the implementation of a new Independent Water Project at Sohar has gone to a consortium headed by Spanish water services giant Valoriza Agua SL, Al Jahdhami said. The Sohar IWP, along with the Barka IWP — contracts for which were formalised on Thursday — were conceived as one tender at the outset with the intention to award them to separate successful bidders, he explained. “We are in the process of finalising the documentation for Sohar, and hope to sign the project agreements before the end of this month,” Al Jahdhami said. Madrid-based Valoriza Agua has teamed up with Oman Brunei Investment Company and Sogex Oman LLC in implementing the Sohar IWP, which is sized at 250,000 cubic metres per day (55.0 MIGD) of desalination capacity. The facility will come up within the power and water cluster at Sohar Port and Freezone.
Commenting on efforts to develop a spot market system for electricity trading in the Sultanate, the CEO stated: “We have already appointed advisors, and are working with them as well as the electricity regulator and key stakeholders on this issue. The initiative is progressing quite well. We are in the early stages of the study, while stakeholder engagements are ongoing.”
Earlier this year, OPWP announced that global consulting and engineering services company Poyry along with multinational law firm Dentons were tapped to provide advisory services on the proposed rollout of a spot market system. The advisors’ remit is to support the development of an enabling framework for the eventual introduction of electricity spot market activities in Oman.