Seven groups are now in the fray for a contract award linked to the development of two major Independent Power Projects (IPPs) at Barka and Sohar in the Batinah region. In contention are consortiums led by International Power, ACWA Power, Mapna Group, GDF Suez, Marubeni Corporation, KEPCO/Saudi Oger Ltd, and Lanco Infratech Limited.

Their bids were opened at the Tender Board yesterday, although offer values and technical proposals were not disclosed. An eight bidder, Balkan Energy, did not figure in the shortlist, presumably having failed prequalification criteria set by Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), which is overseeing the procurement of the two IPPs in an international competitive tender.

Senior OPWP officials were present when envelopes containing the bids were opened yesterday. Also in attendance were representatives of all the lead developers bidding for the IPPs, along with some of their consortium partners. According to officials, commercial and technical proposals submitted by the selected parties will be evaluated over the next couple of months before a preferred bidder is named for either or both of the IPPs.

The successful bidder will win state-owned OPWP’s mandate to build either or both of the proposed power projects, each sized at around 650 megawatts (MW) of power generation capacity. Barka III and Sohar II, as the new IPPs are dubbed, will be based on fuel efficient combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) technology, powered by natural gas. Neither project is envisaged to have any desalination component.

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