The AES Corporation (AES), the US-based global power company, announced yesterday that it was awarded the Ras Laffan 750 MW and 180 million litres/day of water natural gas-fired, combined-cycle cogeneration power and water desalination project in the State of Qatar.

Ownership of the power and desalination facility will be shared between AES with 55 per cent and the Qatar Government-owned Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Electric and Water Company and Gulf Investment Corporation who between them will own the remaining 45 per cent.

AES plans to award the construction contract to an Italian consortium of Enel Power and Fisia Italimpianti with a target completion date of May 2004.

The sole purchaser of the electric output from the plant will be the State-owned electric and water distribution organization, Kahramma, under a long-term power and water purchase agreement. Qatar Petroleum will supply natural gas to the power plant and will build a common seawater facility at Ras Laffan Industrial City for seawater supply.

The Ras Laffan contract is the second large power generation project granted to AES in the region this year. In May, a subsidiary of AES secured the financing for a $348.6 million, 427 MW facility in Barka, Oman.