Qidfa invites EOIs

The Abu Dhabi Union Water & Electricity Company (UWEC) has invited international power developers to submit expressions of interest (EOI) in taking an equity stake in its power generation and water desalination and transmission project at Qidfa in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.

UWEC is seeking an experienced power and water developer to invest in the existing Qidfa project as well as in the planned expansion of the plant as a strategic partner.

The Qidfa plant is capable of producing 656 MWe and 455m l/day of potable water. It is capable of exporting up to 500 MW of power to the planned Emirates National Grid and 455m l/day of desalinated water to the emirate of Abu Dhabi and the northern emirates.

Iraq infrastructure contracts awarded

Several US engineering firms have won contracts for the restoration of infrastructure in Iraq. The contracts will help Iraq to overcome its current power shortage and improve the efficiency and reliability of the country’s system.

The US Army Corps of engineers has awarded Fluor Corporation three separate task orders worth $154m for electrical power restoration. The work involves the rehabilitation of multiple power generation facilities in Baghdad, reconstruction of a power transmission line in northern Iraq and restoration of a water intake facility at a thermal plant in the south of the country.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded a follow-on contract to Bechtel National, extending the company’s role as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor in a series of major infrastructure projects. The work spans a number of sectors, from power to airports.

Washington Group International and Black & Veatch also recently won a contract to perform up to $1.5bn of services in support of the Army Corps of Engineers. Washington Group is already involved in projects to refurbish and install electricity generating plants in Iraq.

BHEL plans Oman plant

India’s Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) are making preparations for the construction of a $1bn power plant at Sohar in the Sultanate of Oman and have appointed Ernst & Young as their financial advisor for the project.

The Sohar plant is an integrated power and desalination plant with a capacity of 450 MW and 273m l/day. BHEL and NTPC were awarded the contract to develop the plant in late 2003.

BHEL will supply the power generating equipment for the plant, which will be completed by 2006.

NTPC is also bidding for the Shoaiba integrated power and desalination project in Saudi Arabia.

This project will comprise a 700 MW power plant and a 773m l/day desalination plant.

Al-Ezzal attracts international interest

At least four international energy companies have submitted pre-qualification documents for the Al-Ezzal power plant in Bahrain after the country’s Ministry of Finance and National Economy invited expressions of interest in the project.

The Al-Ezzal plan is a $1.15bn, 1000 MW power plant which will be constructed at the Hidd complex. It will be developed as an independent power project in two phases.

The companies are AES , Tractebel, International Power and Total.

Alfa Laval signs Saudi contract

Swedish engineering firm Alfa Laval has received an order from the Saudi National Contracting Co. (NCC) for the supply of equipment for the Saudi Electricity Company’s PP3 power plant expansion project in Jeddah. The contract is valued at SEK65m ($8.8m)

Alfa Laval will supply the crude oil treatment plant for the plant, which is being constructed to meet rising electricity demand in Jeddah. Work on the project is due to start in early 2004 and the first unit will come on-line in February 2005.

Alfa Laval’s scope of supply includes a crude oil preheating and recovery system, a crude oil purification system with 20 centrifugal separators and an effluent water treatment plant using one separator and fuel forwarding equipment for each turbine.

The 480 MW plant will comprise eight GE combustion turbines, and will bring the total site capacity to 1700 MW.

International Power closes financing on cogen projects

Saudi Oger and International Power have successfully closed financing of four cogeneration plants in Saudi Arabia. The two companies are constructing the four plants for Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company.

International Power and Saudi Oger will develop, own and operate the cogeneration plants, which have acombinedcapacity of 1074 MWe and 2m kg/h steam.

The financing for the projects comprises a non-recourse $510m facility that has a 17-year term. Total equity investment amounts to $130m, of which 60 per cent ($78m) will will be invested by International Power and 40 per cent ($52m) by Saudi Oger in line with their respective equity interest.

The lead arrangers for the financing were Arab National Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi and Samba Financial Group. Power and steam from the plants will be supplied to Saudi Aramco under 20-year energy conversion agreements.

The four plants will be constructed in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. Natural gas will be supplied by Saudi Aramco and the power and steam generated will be used by Saudi Aramco in its processing plants.

Jordanian gas project progresses

Construction on the second phase of the Jordanian Gas Transmission Pipeline Project will start in April or May 2004, according to Trowers & Hamlins, legal advisors to the government of Jordan for the project. The pipeline will help to lower Jordan’s energy costs, and will provide a route to commercialize Egypt’s gas reserves.

The project involves the construction of a $270m, 390 km pipeline and associated facilities from Aqaba on the Red Sea to end-users in northern Jordan.

The first phase of the project, a pipeline from El-Arish in Egypt to Aqaba, was completed in July 2003.

The project is the first regional cross-border transaction of its type to be implemented on a structured finance basis. It is therefore likely to become a blueprint for future cross-border infrastructure financings in the region, according to Towers & Hamlins.