South Korean-based global construction heavyweight GS Engineering & Construction (GS E&C) has announced that consortiums led by its wholly-owned Spanish subsidiary, GS Inima, have secured mandates to build a pair of major Independent Water Projects (IWPs) in the Sultanate with a combined investment of over $400 million.
The first of these water desalination schemes will come up at Ghubrah in Muscat Governorate, while the other is planned at Barka in South Al Batinah Governorate. Wholly financed, developed and operated by the private sector, both projects will help meet robust potable water demand growth in the capital city, as well as the populous Batinah belt over the long term.
In its announcement over the weekend, GS E&C said its Spanish subsidiary received Letter of Awards for the two IWPs from Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), the sole procurer of new electricity and water capacity and the offtaker of output.
The bigger of the two IWPs — a reverse osmosis (RO) based water scheme — is planned at Ghubrah in the capital city.
Dubbed ‘Ghubrah III IWP’, it will be built adjoining Ghubrah II IWP of Muscat City Desalination Company, which came into operation in 2017.
Significantly, Ghubrah III IWP, with a world-scale capacity of 300,000 cubic metres per day (equivalent to 66 million imperial gallons per day MIGD) will be largest greenfield water desalination project in the Sultanate when it comes online by around mid-2024.
GS Inima has projected the total investment in this project at $275 million.
At Barka, already a major water desalination hub, GS Inima says it has been selected by OPWP to add a new desalination plant with a capacity of around 101,000 cubic metres per day (22 MiGD). The Barka 5 IWP, as the project is called, is estimated to cost around $129 million, with commissioning slated during mid-2023.
Separately, Italian water desalination infrastructure services giant Fisia Italimpianti announced that it will participate in the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of the two water projects as a joint venture partner alongside GS Inima.
Milan-headquartered Fisia Italimpianti, a unit of the Webuild Group, said on Friday that it had won two EPC contracts worth a combined $330 million for the two projects. Fisia Italimpianti has a 50 per cent stake in both joint ventures, it added.
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