Tractebel wins Al Ezzel IPP project

Bahrain’s Ministry of Finance and National Economy has awarded a contract to design, build, own, operate and maintain the greenfield Al Ezzel independent power producer (IPP) project. The 1000 MW combined cycle power plant, which will be owned by Al Ezzel Power Company, is the first IPP project under the privatization programme of the government of Bahrain.

The contract was awarded to a consortium of Tractebel EGI, a business division of Suez; and its partner Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC). Tractebel and GIC each hold 50 per cent of the project.

The $500m project, to be built in Manama, will sell electricity to the Ministry of Water and Electricity (MEW) under a 20-year power purchase agreement commencing on May 1, 2007. The first phase will deliver 470 MW on April 30, 2006.

Bahrain is in urgent need of additional capacity. Growth in power demand is estimated at 7 per cent per year and is expected to remain strong. The output from Al Ezzel will cover one third of the total consumption in the country.

Dirk Beeuwsaert, CEO of Tractebel EGI said: “…the project reinforces our presence in the Gulf and establishes a long term relationship with Gulf Investment Corporation.”

The project is the second in a month for Tractebel EGI. In July it was also selected to design, build, own, operate and maintain the greenfield Sohar independent water and power project in Oman. The project consists of a 585 MW combined cycle gas turbine plant and a 33 million imperial gallons a day (6250 m3 per hour) water desalination plant. The plant will be owned by Sohar Power Company and located in the Sohar Industrial Area, north of Muscat, on the Gulf of Oman.

Strong interest in Oman IPO

Oman’s first power generation company to be set up on a build, own and operate (BOO) scheme has received a strong initial response to a RO5.7 m ($15m) Initial Public Offering (IPO) issued by current owner, International Power.

International Power’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Al Kamir Power Company (AKPC), which owns the 285 MW Al Kamil power plant, issued the prospectus for the IPO on July 27, 2004. In accordance with the initial project agreements with the government of Oman, International Power is required to sell at least 35 per cent of its share capital in AKPC in the Omani public market.

AKPC was formed in 2000 following a competitive bidding process by the government to build, own and operate the simple cycle gas fired power plant as part of an ambitious privatization plan for the sector. The power station, located in Al Kamil, 290 km from Muscat, has been operating since July last year.

Bids in for DEWA substation

Evaluation of bids is underway at Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) for a $150m substation project which will primarily serve the new residential developments in the Jebel Ali area.

The project will see the construction of thirteen 132/11 kV substations and associated cabling works.

Twelve companies have taken part in the tender, which is the largest issued by the utility for 132 kV work. Although bid prices have been opened, a clear picture of the bid ranking has not emerged, given the range of alternatives and discounts submitted and the fact that some bidders quoted for only part of the tender. The evaluation is further complicated by the fact that DEWA issued a late addendum requesting firms to propose major equipment from western Europe, the US or Japan only. This resulted in most bidders submitting a compliant bid, plus an alternative containing equipment not specified in the addendum.

EPC contract for Iraq power plants

German EPC contractor Elbe Maschinenbau has signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract with the energy Ministry of Iraq for three new power plants.

The contract calls for a 500 MW station and a 100 MW plant, both to be operated on heavy fuel oil; and includes an option for a 240 MW unit which would be either heavy fuel oil operated or gas fired.

The plants are scheduled for completion in 2005.

Kuwait generators on-line in time for summer peak

The first gas turbine-generators at the Az Zour power plant in Kuwait was officially opened at the beginning of August. Upon completion in 2005, eight gas turbines will provide about 1000 MW to the grid of Kuwait. The project represents an investment of about a390m ($480m)

Synchronization of the first unit took place in May 2004, just 13 months after the start of construction. The second and third units followed a month later. The timely startup of the project is important to its owner, the Ministry of Energy, since power demand in the summer can be three to four times higher than in the winter.

Siemens is supplying the eight V94.2 gas turbines for the project together with associated generators and the electrical and instrumentation and control systems. The turbines will be capable of running on natural gas or oil.

RFP issued for Shoaiba IWPP project

The request for proposals (RFP) for the Shoaiba independent power and water project (IWPP) have been sent out to developers.

The 11 groups of pre-qualifiers have been given until January 8, 2005 to submit proposals for the project which is expected to cost $1400m-$1600m.

The project will have a generating capacity of 650-900 MW and desalination capacity of 194 million gallons per day. The project company will sign a 20-year power and water purchase agreement with the Water and Electricity Company (WEC), which has been set up by the Saudi Electric Company (SEC) and Saline Water Conversion Corporation.

The successful bidder will take a 60 per cent stake in the new project company, which will build, own and operate the oil fired power station. The remaining 40 per cent will be split between the Public Investment Fund (32 per cent) and the SEC (8 per cent).