Consultant named for Oman’s Power 2021 Procurement Cycle

By Conrad Prabhu — MUSCAT: Jan 14 – Atkins Power and Renewables — part of the global design, engineering and project management consultancy giant Atkins — says it has been appointed by state-owned Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) to provide technical advisory services for the development of the Sultanate’s ‘Power 2021 Procurement Cycle’. The consultancy contract centres on the procurement of a new Independent Power Project (IPP) of a minimum capacity of 800 megawatts (MW) to help meet forecast power demand requirements of 2021.
OPWP, as the sole procurer of all new power generation and water desalination capacity — is overseeing the procurement of this new IPP, which is proposed to be set up within the Main Interconnected System (MIS), serving much of the northern half of the Sultanate.
As part of its contract brief, Atkins will develop a site selection strategy to determine the new IPP’s optimum location within the north Oman grid. Besides drafting the project definition report and competition paper, the consultancy firm will also support the evaluation of developer prequalification proposals, and will assist in the final shortlisting of developers through to bid evaluation and award of contract to the successful bidder.
Welcoming the contract, Callum McLaurin, Atkins’ project director and head of business Middle East, said: “This is considered a strategic win as it provides us with exposure to a major client in the region with significant expansion plans and enables both parties to develop a mutually beneficial working relationship. Furthermore, this win enables us to expand our Omanisation programme via additional recruitment and also enhances our corporate
CV in the Middle East region and in Oman.”
Importantly, the new 800 MW facility will be procured as an Independent Power Project via OPWP’s existing procurement methodology. A new procurement strategy is currently under development by OPWP, a member of The Electricity Holding Company (Nama Group).  Under the new procurement strategy, due to be rolled out later this year, existing power plants with expiring contracts can compete directly with new project bidders for long-term contracts. The revamped methodology is designed to support the liberalisation of the electricity sector and open it up to enhanced competition.