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Middle East Update

Gulf power grid progresses

The GCC Power Grid Authority met in June to review the progress of the first phase of the GCC project, a funding plan for which was approved in May. The meeting followed the signing of a bilateral agreement by the United Arab Emirates and Oman to link their electricity networks.

The first phase of the GCC power grid project will cost $869m and will link the electricity grids of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar. Under the agreement reached in May, Saudi Arabia will contribute about 40 per cent of the first-phase cost, Kuwait 36.5 per cent, Qatar 13.5 per cent and Bahrain about ten per cent.

The second phase of the project involves linking the grids of Oman and the United Arab Emirates. The two mega-grids will then be joined together in the final phase. The total cost of the entire project, which is seen as vital in improving the performance and reliability of the power network in Gulf countries, is expected to reach $6bn.#

Once implemented, the project will save the GCC states billions of dollars by reducing the cost of generating power. Studies have shown that the cost of linking the GCC power grids will be lower than constructing new power plants in the Gulf region. Studies have shown that an estimated 5113 MW of generated power would be saved. By 2008, the value of the saved power will be in the tune of $3350m. The cost of the project will be recovered in less than three years from the date of operation.

Gaza IPP starts operation

Gaza’s first independent power project has begun commercial operations, supplying 140 MW of power to the grid. The plant is currently running on natural gas and diesel, but will eventually be converted to fully gas-fired using feedstock sourced from Egypt.

The plant is owned and operated by the Gaza Power Generating Company (GPGC), which is wholly owned by the Palestine Electric Company (PEC). PEC is preparing to list 33 per cent of its shares on the Palestinian Securities Exchange.

Taweelah B bids ready in July

The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority has postponed the deadline for the submission of bids for the Taweelah B power and desalination plant until July 11, 2004. The project is expected to attract several international bidders, and bids were originally due on June 21.

The $950m Taweelah B plant will be Abu Dhabi’s fifth independent water and power projecthttps:// There are three pre-qualified bidders: a joint venture of International Power of the UK and Belgium’s Tractebel, France’s Total with Tokyo Electric Power Co. of Japan, and Marubeni with BPU Ventures.

The Request for Proposals for the project was issued in early 2004 and more than a dozen companies submitted statements of qualifications. The project involves expanding the existing Taweelah B power and desalination plant from 1000 MW and 409m l/day to 2000 MW and 705m l/day.

DEWA plans Expansion

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has given bidders until August to submit their technical offers for the second phase expansion of the Al Awaeer H station.

The project will add 400 MW of capacity to the plant’s existing 600 MW, and will be on-line by 2006. The project is an important part of DEWA’s plans to increase generating capacity to meet increasing demand.

Italian, American firms win Iraq contracts

Two contracts for power generation equipment in Iraq have been awarded to Bertoli SRL of Italy and IAP Worldwide Services of the USA. The contracts have ceiling values of $100m and involve the procurement, delivery and installation of generator sets and associated equipment throughout Iraq.

The generator sets will be used to restore and maintain the operational abilities of numerous pump stations, dams and barrages, and other projects through each of the main infrastructure sectors: oil, electricity, water resources and public works; security and justice; transportation and communications; and buildings, health and education.

Alstom wins Shoaiba extension

The Saudi Electricity Company has awarded a consortium led by Alstom a contract to supply and construct the Shoaiba steam power plant extension project. The value of #the contract amounts to g835m ($1015m), with Alstom’s portion accounting for g675m.

Alstom and its civil partner, Archirodon, will design, supply and install three identical power units at the plant. Alstom has already supplied the site with five 370 MW units, and this latest contract also includes an option to build a further three units.

The contract covers the supply, installation and commissioning of boilers, steam turbines, generators and the complete balance of plant and systems. The boilers will be able to burn both crude and heavy oil.

  • SNC Lavalin has awarded Alstom a g1.4m contract to supply a decentralized control system (DCS) for the 880 MW Skikda combined cycle power plant in Algeria. Alstom w#ill supply the plant with its ALSPA P320 system.

Dubai firm wins FEWA deal

Dubai-based engineering company, Al Mostajed Technologies Limited (AMTC), has been awarded a Dh30m ($8m) contract by the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA) to boost the electricity #distribution system in Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah.

Work on the project is expected to be completed in late 2005, and involves the engineering, design, construction, installation, testing and commissioning of 132 kV underground cables.

The installation of the cables will enhance the reliability of the existing distribution system and will enable FEWA to meet the growing demand for electric power in these areas. The cables will be laid in heavy duty precast troughs, with each circuit capable of carrying 130 MVA.

Russia’s Power Machines supplies power plant to Iraq

Russia’s Power Machines Group has signed a supply contract delivering equipment to Iraq’s Dibis thermal power plant.

The order consists of two 160 MW gas turbines and two turbo generators to be delivered by 2005. In a connected deal, Power Machines Group has contracted with the Iraqi Transportation and Communication Ministry to supply 30 diesel locomotives scheduled for delivery by year-end. These contracts will be carried out while the group works on a third contract in Iraq that will see it construct the Yusifiya thermal power plant and the Al Adaim hydropower plant. Financial details are yet to be disclosed.

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