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Three new water projects primed for procurement in Oman

POTABLE WATER: Nation’s biggest water desalination scheme currently under construction at Al Ghubra in Muscat Governorate
Ghubra III IWP project in Muscat Governorate – Oman’s biggest water scheme -- currently under construction.
Ghubra III IWP project in Muscat Governorate – Oman’s biggest water scheme -- currently under construction.

A number of major Independent Water Projects (IWPs) figure in the list of priority initiatives for procurement by the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP)), the sole buyer of output from the nation’s electricity generation and water desalination plants.

State-owned OPWP, part of Nama Group, says it wants to initiate the procurement process – a competitive exercise that has underpinned procurements of all new power and water project projects in the country since 2005 – for new privately-financed and operated water schemes in Barka, as well as North Al Batinah and Dhofar governorates this year.

Included in the list of priorities is ‘Barka IWP 2024’ – a new water scheme with a capacity envisaged at around 100,000 cubic metres/day. The project, initially slated for commercial launch in Q2 2024, is planned to offset any supply shortfall when the existing Barka II power and water project, owned and operated by SMN Power Company, falls out of contract, unless extended, in 2024.

Barka, one of Oman’s largest water production hubs, is home to a number of water schemes that supply potable water to large swathes of northern Oman via the country’s integrated water grid. This capacity is being further augmented with the addition of Barka V IWP, a 100,000 m3/day capacity scheme currently under construction by a partnership led by GS Inima of Spain. Barka V IWP is scheduled to come into commercial operation in Q3 2024.

Just north of Barka, OPWP also plans to reinitiate the procurement of a new Independent Water Project in North Al Batinah Governorate, home to a major seaport, free zone and industrial city at Suhar.

The procurement process for ‘North Al Batinah IWP’, sized at 150,000 m3/day, was first initiated in 2018, with the prequalification process completed in April 2019. With timelines for the implementation of most power and water schemes thrown into disarray by the back-to-back global economic downturn and pandemic, the North Batinah IWP is now being prioritised for procurement. Subject to confirmation of site allocation and other exigencies, the new project is planned for full commercial launch in Q2 2026.

In Dhofar Governorate, a new water scheme of 150,000 m3/day capacity has been identified for procurement as part of OPWP’s priorities for this year. ‘Dhofar Water 2025’, the procurement process of which was first initiated in 2019, will be progressed “subject confirmation of land allocation and availability of transmission infrastructure”, according to OPWP.

Meanwhile, OPWP says it is continuing to monitor progress in the construction of Oman’s largest Independent Water Project – a 300,000 m3/day capacity desalination plant currently under development at Al Ghubra in Muscat Governorate.

Dubbed ‘Ghubra III IWP’, the project is being executed by a consortium led by GS Inima from Spain, Aljomaih from Saudi Arabia and SOGEX from the Sultanate of Oman. The project is scheduled to be commercially operational by Q2 2025.

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