Eight intl firms prequalified to bid for Muscat water scheme

Eight leading international water developers have been prequalified by Omani authorities to participate in a competitive tender to build the Sultanate’s biggest water desalination project at Ghubrah in the capital city of Muscat.
The Oman Power and Water Procurement Company SAOC (OPWP), which is the sole procurer of new power generation and water desalination capacity under the sector law, has named the prequalified bidders (and their joint venture partners where applicable) as: (i) Cobra Instalaciones Y servicio SA, FCC Aqualia, SA and Majis Industrial Service (ii) GS Inima Environment SA (iii) International Company for Water and Power Projects (ACWA Power) (iv) International Power SA (IPSA) (v) Marubeni Corporation (vi) Sembcorp Utilities Pte Ltd (vii) SUEZ International and (viii) Sumitomo Corporation and Malakoff International Limited.
“OPWP is currently working to finalise the Request for Proposals (RfP) which will be issued to the prequalified applicants upon receipt of the relevant approvals,” said the state-owned procurer in a statement.
With a capacity of 300,000 cubic metres/day (equivalent to 66 million imperial gallons per day — MIGD), the greenfield Independent Water Project (IWP) will surpass in size and capacity a pair of massive IWPs currently under construction at Barka (the 62 MIGD Barka VI scheme) and Suhar (55 MIGD Suhar IWP). The latest project, slated to come on stream in the first quarter of 2022, will help meet the burgeoning potable water needs of the capital region, as well as the wider north Oman water grid.
The successful bidder will be awarded a licence for the development, financing, design, engineering, construction, ownership, operation and maintenance of the Ghubrah 3 IWP.
The project, according to the procurer, will come up at a brownfield plot adjoining the existing Ghubrah Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP), which is due to be decommissioned during the construction of the new water scheme. A new seawater intake and outfall system will also be built by the bidder to provide the raw seawater and discharge of brine to the sea for the Al Ghubrah 3 IWP.
Potable water produced by the project will be supplied to a new reservoir that will be owned and operated by the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW), the Sultanate’s principal water utility authority.
The successful bidder will be responsible for the construction of the new reservoir.
The new Ghubrah scheme will add to nearly 360 MIGD of desalination capacity currently in operation at locations along the Sultanate’s coast. It is the largest of a raft of new water projects on the anvil for implementation along the North and South Al Batinah, South Al Sharqiyah, Dhofar and Musandam coasts.
In North Al Batinah Governorate, OPWP has plans for a 150,000 m3/day (33 MIGD) capacity water plant targeted for launch in 2023. At Barka, already a major hub for water desalination, OPWP aims to procure around 101,000 m3/day (22 MIGD) of new capacity for launch in Q1 2022.
On the east coast, Masirah Island will host its first Independent Water Project — a 10,000 m3/day (2.2 MIGD) capacity plant expected to come on stream in Q1 2023. In Dhofar Governorate, water desalination capacity is proposed to be ramped up via the addition of a new project, dubbed Dhofar Water 2023.