Major developers in race for Oman’s 500MW solar project

Developers from Japan, South Korea, China, Europe and the Middle East region are among 28 international companies that have registered their interest to participate in a competitive process to establish the Sultanate’s first large-scale solar PV project.
In contention for the mandate to design, build, finance, own, operate and maintain the project are heavyweights such as BP, EDF, Electric Power Corporation, International Power, ACWA Power, Hanwha Energy, Marubeni Corporation, Mitsui, Sumitomo Corporation, and SNC Lavalin. Regional heavyweights, notably Masdar, are in the fray as well. Also participating are a number of local Omani firms as joint venture and consortium partners.
The 500MW venture, dubbed ‘Ibri II Solar IPP’, is proposed to be established at Ibri in the Dhahirah Governorate at an estimated cost of $500 million. As with all power generation and related water desalination schemes set up in the country, the new solar plant will be procured by the state-owned Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) — part of Nama Group — via a competitive tender based on the well-established Independent Power Project (IPP) model.
Yesterday, the procurer named all 28 companies (and consortium partners where applicable) that had submitted a Statement of Qualifications (SoQ), which effectively registers their provisional interest in participating in the competitive process. The deadline for submission of SoQ documents was February 22.
Listed alphabetically in a statement posted on OPWP’s website are: Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC (Masdar) and Total Solar; AFT Group of Companies and ET Technology GmbH; AFT Group of Companies and Metallurgical Corporation of China Ltd; Amarenco Solar Limited, Mubbadrah Investment LLC and National Electricity Centre LLC; BIET for Environmental Technologies, International Energy Unit — CPI international Group, VESPA Orientalis Solar Energy and 9th Dimension for Renewable Energy; BP Alternative Energy Investments Limited, Lightsource BP Renewable Energy Investments Limited and Chint New Energy Development (Zhejiang) Co; EDF Energies Nouvelles and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO); Infiniti Overseas LLC; International Company for Water and Power Projects (ACWA Power); International Power SA (IPSA); GCL New Energy International Limited and Alfanar Company; Hanwha Energy Corporation and Hanwha Q CELLS Corporation; Hero Future Energies Global Limited; Jinko Power (HK) Company Limited; Marubeni Corporation; Mitsui & Co Ltd; Nebras Power QPSC; NTPC Ltd; TBEA Xinjiang Sun Oasis Co Ltd and Oman National Engineering & Investment Co (SAOG); Powerchina Resources Limited, Powerchina International Group Limited and Mohammed al Barwani Holding LLC; SB Energy Holdings Limited; Gruppo Industriale Maccaferri, Shannon Energy Corporation and Global Industrial Services; SNC-Lavalin Capital Inc and Sky Power Holdings LLC; SOWIW Group, Kalmen-ME & HECT and Gulf Musanada; Sumitomo Corporation; United Al Maria LLC; X-ELIO Energy SL; and Zorlu Enerji Elektrik Uretim and Abengoa Energia SA.
“The high number of applicants reflects the continued interest and trust in the Oman power sector which takes fairness, transparency and economic purchase as key pillars of its structure and framework,” said OPWP in the statement.
The first set of 20 companies participating in the tender have since been issued preliminary letters of compliance by the Authority for Electricity Regulation Oman (AER). Confirmation of compliance is a legal requirement for any entity to hold a licence issued by the Authority, according to the regulator.
“The evaluation of SoQs is currently under way and applicants will be informed of the status of their qualification after the necessary approvals are obtained,” OPWP added.
A formal contract award for Oman’s maiden commercial-scale solar PV venture is expected to be announced in Q3 2018 with the Commercial Operation Date (COD) slated for early 2021.