Bahrain launches tender for 1200 MW Al Dur IWPP

Bahrain has invited international companies to bid for a contract to build and run a 1200 MW power and desalination plant to help meet rising demand, according to tender documents.

The government had asked companies to submit initial bids for the independent water and power plant (IWPP), by 6 December, the tender documents show.

The plant is set to produce up to 600 MW of electricity and 218m litres a day of desalinated water by 2010. Capacity will be raised to as much as 1200 MW by the summer of 2011, according to the documents, which were released by the Bahraini finance ministry.

Companies including International Power PLC and Suez have traditionally been among the bidders for IWPPs in the region and are expected to submit proposals for the Bahrain project at Al Dur.

Bahrain’s finance ministry will invite pre-qualified companies “in the course of the coming weeks” to participate in the tender’s final stage, according to the documents.

Iberdrola-GE consortium secures Algerian 1200 MW CCGT contract

A consortium of Iberdrola and General Electric has won the turnkey contract to build a 1200 MW combined cycle plant in Algeria.

The €1.48bn ($2.19bn) contract was awarded by the Algerian state electricity company Sonelgaz.

The plant is to be built in the coastal province of El Tarf. Completion is due in 48 months.

The Spanish-US led consortium beat off competition from another consortium, led by Alstom, to win the contract.

Arab nations set to invest $120bn over the coming five years

The Arab nations will invest $120bn in the power sector over the five years from 2008-2012 according to the Arab Petroleum Investment Corp (APICORP). The investment will be used to construct an additional 48 GW of generating capacity, raising total capacity from 138 GW in 2006 to 186 GW, and to expand the supply networks. Of this total, around $70bn will be invested in generating capacity. The additional capacity is required to meet demand, which is expected to grow at 6 per cent to 6.5 per cent over the coming five years according to APICORP. Capacity growth among the Arab countries has averaged 6.2 per cent over the past two decades, leading to a doubling of capacity every ten to twelve years.

Saudi Arabia is expected to make the largest investments, averaging $5bn each year over the next five years.

Nuclear solution needed to meet soaring GCC demand: study

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region requires nuclear power in order to meet soaring demand for electricity according to Dr Jamal Al Suwaidi, Director General of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research.

Current fuel sources may not be able to meet the expected demand, he claimed. The peak demand for electricity in Abu Dhabi, for example, is expected to more that triple by 2020, reaching 14 000 MW compared to 4000 MW in 2006 according to data from the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority.

Across the UAE per capita industrial, commercial and domestic energy consumption is 11 times higher than the global average.

SEC to add 2000 MW at two sites

The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is proposing to expand two of its power generating sites, adding 2000 MW to its generating capacity.

The award of the first contract, for the fifth-stage expansion of the Rabigh power plant on the Red Sea coast is expected soon.

This will add 1000 MW of crude oil fired capacity at the site. The National Contracting Co is the front-runner having submited the lowest bid, $802m, earlier this year.

Meanwhile three contractors are believed to be preparing bids to convert its yet-to-be-completed Al-Qurayyah power plant, in the Eastern Province, to combined cycle. The first 1800 MW, open cycle stage of this plant was awarded to Bemco earlier this year in a deal worth $570m. The second stage will add a further 1000 MW.

Morocco seeks to sweeten foreign investment in renewable energy

Government officials in Morocco said they planned to introduce legislation to encourage foreign investment in the country’s renewable energy sector.

Moroccan Energy Minister Amina Benkhadra said the ministry was working on a bill that would promote renewable energy by creating a favourable investment climate. “Coherent legislation that supports the development of the flourishing renewable energy markets and also recognizes the importance of the private sector has been put into action,” Benkhadra said.

Benkhadra said Morocco’s renewable energy potential from wind power reached 6000 MW a day, while solar energy also provided a potentially lucrative resource, she said.

The government’s Cabinet has approved the legislation, which must be passed into law by the Parliament.

Italcementi reaches deal to study feasibility of Egypt wind farm

Italcementi SpA said its Italgen unit has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Egyptian government to study the feasibility of an up to 400 MW wind farm in the Gabal El Zeit district, on the Red Sea coast.

The study is expected to be completed in the first half of 2008. Local and international partners might join the project.

When fully operational, the plant will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 500 000 tonnes per year. The Egyptian government plans to produce 20 per cent of its electricity through renewable energy sources by 2020.

Feasibility study into Egypt-Saudi power linkage finalized

Egyptian minister of electricity and power Hassan Younis and Saudi minister of electricity and water Abdel-Rahman al-Ghusaini have presented Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Nazif with a plan for a Saudi-Egyptian power linkage to be carried out via the Jordanian al-Aqaba Gulf.

The linkage is meant to cut expenses in the sector in both countries in view of the difference in peak consumption hours in the two countries, with Saudi Arabia guzzling energy during the daytime and Egypt at night. The two sides also discussed means of benefiting from the Saudi expertise in the domain of water rationalization.

Younis and his Saudi counterpart considered the outcome of an economic feasibility study of the Egyptian-Saudi power linkage.

The study recommended that the linkage between the networks of both countries should be through a 500 KV electrical line. The project is scheduled to be operational by 2012, Younis said.