Sep 27 2012
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Contract for $400m water project soon
Five consortiums led by prominent international utilities are in the fray for the licence to design, construct, own, finance, operate and maintain a 42 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) capacity desalination plant based on seawater reverse osmosis (RO) technology.
On Monday, the Tender Board evaluated offers submitted by the bidding consortiums, as well as deliberated on the recommendations of Oman Power and Water Procurement Company ( OPWP ), the state-owned electricity and desalinated water offtaker which is overseeing the implementation of the IWP.
It is understood that the Tender Board will either announce a shortlist of 2 or 3 bidders, or simply rank the consortiums based on the overall merit of their offers. The shortlisted bidders will then be invited by OPWP for negotiations leading to the selection of a preferred bidder with whom a contract award will eventually be inked.
That process is expected to be completed over the next several weeks, with contract documents ready for signature before the end of October, it is learnt.
Competing for the prestigious licence are consortiums led by Japan-based international conglomerate Marubeni Corporation; Hyflux Ltd, a Singapore based integrated water and environmental solutions provider; Spanish based international potable water and wastewater utility Acciona Agua; Malakoff International -- a subsidiary of Malaysia's largest independent power and water producer; and Grupo Cobra -- a Spanish based water utility. The total cost of the project is estimated at around $400 million.
The project will be constructed at the site of the existing Al Ghubrah Power Generation and Water Desalination Plant in Muscat Governorate. The latter facility, built in phases over many years, is itself planned to be decommissioned in line with OPWP 's seven-year planning process, as well as for environmental considerations.
Unlike most desalination plants which are typically co-located with power generation capacity, the new Ghubrah IWP will be supplied with electricity from the grid.
Meanwhile, Al Ghubrah Power Generation and Water Desalination Co, which owns and operates the complex at Ghubrah, has appointed ILF Consulting Engineers and UAE-based Golden Sands Management Consulting to formulate a strategy for the phased decommissioning of its aging power and desalination plants.
As part of their brief, the consultants will, among other things, outline a roadmap for the decommissioning of the plants, weigh any risks to the environment, and assess potential demand for the equipment in the second-hand or scrap markets.
Of the eight multistage flash (MSF) units that were built in phases over a 25-year timeframe, only one unit -- a 4.8 MIGD capacity plant build in 1976 - has been mothballed.
The balance six MSF units meet, which presently help meet part of Muscat Governorate's potable water requirements, are due to be decommissioned by 2017. To help meet burgeoning water demand growth in the capital area, mobile portable reverse osmosis units of a total desalination capacity of 6 MIGD were installed in 2010.
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