Regional News

Oman awards $1.5bn worth of IWPs

April 2016

Oman has awarded contracts for two independent water projects (IWPs) worth a total of $1.5 billion while prequalifying eight firms for three other such projects.

The contracts for the Sohar and Barka IWPs, which were signed last month by Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) CEO Ahmed bin Saleh Al Jahdhami, were conceived as one tender at the outset with the intention to award them to separate successful bidders.

A $1.2-billion contract for a reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant in Sohar with a capacity of 250,000 cu m per day was awarded to a consortium led by Valoriza Agua of Spain.

A subsidiary of Spanish construction giant Sacyr Vallehermoso, Valoriza Agua has a 51 per cent stake in the consortium whose other partners include Oman Brunei Investment Company (25 per cent) and Sogex Oman (24 per cent).

The contract includes the purchase of the plant’s drinking water under a 20-year purchase agreement and the project, located on the Batinah coast, is scheduled to begin operations in 2018.

OPWP also awarded a contract worth $300 million for Phase Four of the Barka desalination plant to a consortium led by Itochu Corporation of Japan and including France’s Suez and Engie, and WJ Towell & Company.

The scope of the project, which will be located in Barka in South Batinah governorate, includes the design, construction, ownership, operation and maintenance of a high-efficiency reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant with total capacity of 281,000 cu m per day of potable water.

OPWP will purchase the potable water produced by the project under a 20-year water purchase agreement and the plant, the largest of its kind in the sultanate, will start supplying drinking water on April 1, 2018.

Meanwhile, eight international firms have been conditionally prequalified to bid for a contract to develop a trio of IWPs in the Sharqiyah, Salalah and Duqm areas of the sultanate, according to local press reports.

The list includes Spanish giants GS Inima Environment and Tecnicas de Desalinizacion de Aguas, Singapore-based Hyflux and Sebcorp Utilities and the Japanese industrial groups JGC Corporation and Marubeni Corporation, besides consortium led by International Company for Water and Power Projects (Acwa Power) with members Veolia Middle East and Dhofar International Development and Investment Holding Company (Didic), and led by Degrémont Middle East with Itochu Corporation. All the eight bidders will soon be invited to submit technical and commercial offers for the IWPs under tender.

The Salalah RO plant, which will boast a daily output of 100,000 cu m, is slated for launch in early 2019, while the Sharqiyah plant, sized at 80,000 cu m per day, is proposed to be brought onstream in two stages: the first by May 2019 and the next by May 2020.

The Duqm plant is proposed to be developed with a capacity of 60,000 cu m per day to serve special economic zone taking shape in this corner of Wusta Governorate.

• OPWP has signed an agreement with Muscat Water and a consortium of Al Sulaimi Group to build two temporary RO desalination plants in Qurayat and Sharqiyah.

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