Apr 21 2012
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Salalah to get new Independent Power and Water Project
Raysut likely location for new 250 MW, 10 MIGD plant
Sized at around 250 megawatts (MW) of electricity generation capacity co-located with 10 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) of seawater desalination capacity, the project -- dubbed Salalah IWPP-2 -- comes close on the heels of the commissioning of Dhofar's first IWPP at Taqah.
The latter, built with an investment of around $1 billion, consists of a 445 MW gas-fired power plant and a desalination capacity of 15 MIGD. Salalah IWPP-1, as the project is known, is scheduled to be brought fully into operation by next month.
At the weekend, OPWP -- which has the sole mandate under the sector law to oversee the procurement of all new power generation and related water desalination capacity -- invited proposals from qualified consultants for its contract to provide Financial Advisory and Commercial Services linked to the development of Salalah IWPP-2. Similar Requests for Proposals (RfPs) for Technical and Legal Advisory Services are expected to be issued within a week, it is learnt.
Although previous power and water projects have typically been procured within a three-year timeframe from the launch of the competitive process, OPWP is keen to move ahead early with the procurement of the Salalah IWPP-2. The goal is to ensure the project's timely implementation in light of Dhofar's rapid infrastructure, industrial, economic and tourism development. Full commercial operation is envisioned only in 2016.
Under plans drawn up by the offtaker, the competitive process for the procurement of the IWPP is proposed to be launched before the end of this year, thereby allowing ample time for the tendering stages to play out over 2013. Assuming an award is announced before the end of 2013, implementation can be comfortably achieved by the 2016 milestone, it is noted.
Peak power demand in the Salalah System is projected to grow by 10 per cent annually from 348 MW in 2011 to 690 MW in 2018, says OPWP . In the low-case scenario, demand growth is expected to be sustained at 7 per cent, reaching 571 MW by 2018. But the high-case scenario considers more rapid industrialization in Salalah, with peak demand projected to jump 17 per cent annually to 1041 MW in 2018.
Given this sizable variance in the low-case and high-case scenarios, authorities are not ruling out an upward revision of the Salalah IWPP-2's power generation capacity from 250 MW envisioned at present.
On the other hand, water demand in Salalah is projected to grow at the rate of 6 per cent annually, with peak demand expected to increase from 62,000 m3/day in 2011 to 95,000 m3/day in 2018. The bulk of this demand will be met by the Salalah IWPP-1, which will yield 68,190 m3/day (15 MIGD) starting from 2012.
Significantly, among the sites being evaluated for the location of the new IWPP, Raysut is seen as the most ideal. Raysut hosts not only Salalah's world-class transhipment terminal and logistics hub, but also a major free zone and industrial estate. Much of the projected electricity demand growth is expected to come from the Raysut area, making it an obvious site for the location of the new IWPP. However, a final location will be announced only after the completion of site study currently underway, say officials.
Last year, OPWP had appointed engineering consultant Worley Parsons to undertake initial technical studies to help progress plans for the Salalah IWPP-2. As part of its brief, Worley Parsons is also assisting in initial site location studies ahead of the appointment of advisors to the project.
Provisional commitments of natural gas as fuel for the gas-fired IWPP have already been obtained from the Ministry of Oil and Gas, it is learnt.
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