Bids invited for Oman’s biggest solar power scheme

A Request for Proposals (RfP) has gone out to international consortiums and developers that have been prequalified by Oman’s authorities to compete for contract awards to build the country’s biggest solar photovoltaic (PV) based scheme at Manah in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate.

The landmark scheme consists of two co-located Independent Power Projects (IPPs) each of a minimum installed capacity of 500 megawatts-peak (MWp).  Dubbed ‘Manah Solar I IPP’ and ‘Manah Solar II IPP’, they will offer an aggregate capacity of around 1 gigwatt (GW), effectively making the combined scheme the largest renewable energy venture of its kind when it comes into operation during the summer of 2023.

On Monday, the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) – the sole procurer of new power generation and water desalination capacity under the sector law – issued RfPs to nine developers and groups that have been prequalified to participate in a competitive tender for the pair of IPPs.

They comprise: (1) Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC – Masdar (UAE) and EDF Renewables SA (EDF); (2) ENI SPA and SB Energy Holding Limited; (3) International Company for Water & Power Projects (ACWA Power); (4) Jinko Power (HK) Company Limited (5) Korea Western Power Company Limited; Hanyang Corporation; Solar Reserve Limited and Nafath Renewable Energy LLC (6) Marubeni Corporation (7) Power Construction Corporation of China Limited (8) Tag Energy SA and Al Shanfari Group, and (9) Total Solar International.

The scope of each project covers the development, financing, design, engineering, construction, ownership, operation and maintenance of a solar PV power plant and associated facilities.  An area of over 1,200 hectares has been earmarked in the Wilayat of Manah for the implementation of the two IPPs.

Significantly, given the size of the combined scheme, an award for their implementation will go to two separate bidders, according to OPWP. “Each bidder is required to submit one id for each of the two Projects. Each project will have a separate ranking list of Preferred Bidders based on the primary evaluation criteria. The first-ranked bidder for each project would be determined based on a combination that leads to the lowest economic obligation for OPWP across both projects, subject to the evaluation criteria specified in the RFP and also subject to the requirement that a single bidder cannot be awarded both the projects,” the procurer explained.

Advising OPWP in the procurement of the giant scheme is a consortium of consultants comprising Synergy Consulting (Financial Advisory Services), Fichtner (Technical) and DLA Piper (Legal).

Meanwhile, the construction of Oman’s first large-scale grid-connected solar PV based renewable energy project is well underway at Ibri in Dhahirah Governorate.  Shams Ad-Dhahira Generating Company SAOC (SAGC), a consortium led by Saudi-based ACWA Power, is developing a 500 MWp project with an investment of around $400 million. Slated to come into operation in the summer of 2021, the Ibri-II solar IPP will sell its clean energy output to state-owned OPWP under a 15-year contract.