Marafiq IWPP reaches closure

The world’s largest Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP), the Marifiq project in Saudi Arabia, has reached financial close. A consortium consisting of Suez Energy International, Gulf Investment Corporation and the Arabian Company for Water & Power Projects has completed limited recourse financing for $3.4bn with a syndicate of 29 international, regional and Saudi banks over 22 years.

The Marafiq IWPP is a 23-year BOOT (build, own, operate, transfer) contract for a 2750 MW combined cycle power station and a large desalination facility with a capacity of 800 000 m3/day. The consortium owns 60 per cent of the project with the remaining 40 per cent held by Marafiq, the Saudi Electricity Company and the Public Investment Fund. The plant will supply power and water exclusively to a subsidiary of Marafiq for the Jubail industrial City.

The EPC contract was awarded to a consortium consisting of GE Energy, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Société Internationale de Déssalement.

French and Russia firms plan nuclear power islands

Russia’s JSC Atomenergomash and French firm Alstom have agreed to form a joint venture for the manufacturing of conventional islands for Russian nuclear power plants investing €300m ($411m) in the form of assets and cash. The joint venture will be established in Podolsk, close to Moscow, and will be 51 per cent owned by Atomenergomash with the remaining shares held by Alstom.

The joint venture will manufacture the entire conventional island of nuclear power plants based on Alstom’s Arebelle half-speed turbine technology and this technology will be transferred to the new company, names Alstom Atomenergomash.

The turbines produced by the joint venture will be delivered both to Russian nuclear power plants and also nuclear power plants outside Russia when based on Russian nuclear technologies.

Mitsui secure $1.3bn Middle East order

Japan’s Mitsui & Company has won one of it its most valuable orders in the Middle East with the signing of a contract with the Kuwaiti government for a power and desalination plant worth about $1.3 bn.

The trading house will construct a cogeneration facility in Kuwait with an output of 750 MW and the ability to produce about 200 000 metric tonnes of water per day. Mitsui will order the power generation facility from South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company. The desalination units will be supplied by the Italian specialist engineering firm Fisia Italimpianti Group.

The order is among a number placed by the Kuwaiti goverment to address a chronic power shortage..

Abu Dhabi plans solar manufacturing centre

Supported by Abu Dhabi’s $250m renewable energy Masdar initiative, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Adfec) plans to set up a company to manufacture photovoltaic (PV) or solar panels in the Emirate.

Adfec has signed a partnership agreement with Germany’s Conergy for the long-term development of commercial solar power in Abu Dhabi and the region. The agreement allows for the use of Conergy technology in order for Adfec to develop into a major supplier of PV panels to the region.

The aim of the project is for up to 40 MW of power capacity to be produced in the next two years. Masdar plans to build a large manufacturing facility for polysilicon, a material used in the manufacture of PV cells.

Doosan wins smelter order in Qatar

South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co. has received a $500m order to build a thermal power plant for an aluminium smelter in southeastern Qatar.

Doosan won the order in consortium with General Electric from the Norwegian aluminium producer Hydro and state-run Qatar Petroleum Company.

The 1250 MW power plant for the smelter will be built in Mesaieed, an industrial city 40 km south of the capital Doha. The power plant is due on stream in September 2009 to meet the target for first metal production in December 2009.

The metal plant will have an annual capacity to produce 585 000 tonnes.

Qatar closes Mesaieed IPP financing deal

Financial close has been achieved for Qatar’s largest power project to date, the $2.4bn Mesaieed A Independent Power project (IPP).

A combination of debt and equity will finance the new gas fired power generation facility with a capacity of 2000 MW. The project is currently under construction in Mesaiseed Industrial City, Qatar and is scheduled to start producing electricity in July 2008.

International legal practice Norton Rose advised the project company and also the 40 per cent shareholder Marubeni Corporation. Qatar Electricity and Water Company hold another 40 per cent in the project company with Qatar Petroleum owning the balance.

The project will not only be the largest power project in Qatar but also the largest greenfield power project ever commissioned in the Middle East. Qatar Petroleum will supply gas while the entire output capacity is contracted to Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) under a long-term power purchase agreement.

Algeria: Alstom has signed a turnkey contract worth €310m ($425m) with Algerian state-owned gas and electricity company Sonelgaz to build an open cycle gas fired power plant featuring two GT 13E2 gas turbines in Relizane in western Algeria.

Egypt: The New & Renewable Energy Authority in Egypt, along with the Petroleum Ministry and Electricity Ministry, is preparing to reintroduce legislation aimed at encouraging private sector participation in renewable energy projects.

Iraq: A 157 MW gas fired power plant project in the Iraqi town of Sadr is to be built by Iranian company Saneer, along with Ameran Ofoq Company and MAPNA, following an international tender at the cost of $150m.

Iran: The Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran will start generating 1000 MW in October, bringing total new power capacity added this year to 6000 MW, according to Iranian Energy Minister Parviz Fattah.

Jordan: Jordan will begin supplying the West Bank city of Jericho with all electricity needs at preferred rates before the end of the year enabling the Palestinians to cease reliance on Israel for power.

Kuwait: Alstom has signed a €150m ($206m) contract to provide five GT13E2 gas turbines with five TOPAIR turbogenerators and associated auxiliaries to the new 800 MW Az Zour power plant in Kuwait.

Russia: Russia’s Atomic Energy Agency said that a fast neutron BN-800 reactor will be built for the Beloyarsk nuclear power plant by 2012. The Leningrad plant will see an existing 1000 MW reactor replaced by a 1200 MW VVER (light water pressurized reactor) at an estimated cost of $2bn.

Saudi Arabia: NCCI will provide the erection insurance coverage for the $1.8bn Al Shuqaiq II IWPP having agreed a contract with the Al Shuqaiq Water and electricity Company. The plant is scheduled for completion in 2010 and will have a capacity of 850 MW and 214 000 m3 of water per day.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia needs to invest around $50bn to meet demand for electricity growing at an annual rate of 7 per cent in the Kingdom up to 2015, according to a recent Saudi Electricity Company report.