Oman invites EoIs for Wadi Dayqah water project

A longstanding plan to harness the prodigious water resources of the Wadi Dayqah reservoir in Muscat Governorate as a source of potable water is now set to move forward in earnest.
At the weekend, Oman Power and Water Procurement Company SAOC (OPWP) — the sole procurer of new power and water capacity under the Sector Law — invited Expressions of Interest (EoIs) from qualified international developers for the development of an Independent Water Project (IWP) targeting these resources.
When fully operational by October 2022, the proposed Wadi Dayqah IWP will be the first privately financed and developed water project in the Sultanate based on a surface water resource. In contrast, all of Oman’s existing and future IWPs (with the exception of the Wadi Dayqah project) are based on seawater desalination.
Resulting from the construction of the Wadi Dayqah Dam in 2011, the reservoir can hold an estimated 100 million cubic metres of rainwater runoff at full capacity. Initial efforts to tap this reservoir as a source of potable water were based on a strategy by the Public Authority for Water (Diam) to invest in a treatment plant, coupled with a water transmission, supply and storage system, that would be integrated with the water grid serving local towns and the wider Muscat Governorate.
While Diam continues to make headway in the implementation of the water transmission, supply and storage system, OPWP has since structured the treatment component into an IWP based on the build-own-operate model underpinning all Independent Power and/or Water Projects in the Sultanate.
“The Project includes the development, financing, design, engineering, construction, ownership, operation and maintenance of a surface water treatment plant with a net production capacity of 125,000 m3 per day (27.5 MIGD — million imperial gallons per day),” OPWP — a member of Nama Group — said in a backgrounder on the Wadi Dayqah IWP.
“Scheduled commercial operation date (SCOD) for the full capacity is required to be by October 31, 2022. Additionally, an early water capacity of 72,000 m3 per day (9.2 MIGD) is expected to be required from April 1, 2022,” it further stated.
According to the procurer, the Wadi Dayqah IWP will be developed as a surface water treatment plant to be located at a greenfield plot about 6.5 km from the Wadi Dayqah dam. “The project will use conventional coagulation-sedimentation-filtration technology, using surface water from the Wadi Dayqah dam to produce potable water for transmission and distribution in the region around the project,” it said.
A treated water pipeline has been implemented by the Public Authority for Water (“PAW”), connecting the IWP to Qurayat for inclusion in the water supply scheme of Muscat and Qurayat.
“The Wadi Dayqah IWP will also include a raw water pumping station, located on a plot at the toe of the dam, and the raw water transmission pipeline between the raw water pumping station and the water treatment plant, approximately 6.5 km,” OPWP further noted.
As with any IWP, Oman Power and Water Procurement Company will offtake the potable water output from the Wadi Dayqah IWP under a long-term Water Purchase Agreement. However, the right to extract raw water from the Wadi Dayqah reservoir will be set out in a separate pact to be inked with the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, which had financed the construction of the dam and reservoir.
The IWP will be funded by the private sector following a similar Build-Own-Operate structure, with the tariff structure and risk allocation generally expected to follow the precedent from previous IWPs in Oman, said OPWP, adding that a formal award is anticipated in the first quarter of 2020.