An engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build Duqm’s first large-scale natural gas-fired power-cum-water desalination project is expected to be awarded in the first quarter of 2018.
The new project, which will have a ‘contracted capacity’ to generate 183 megawatts (MW) of power, along with a 9.5 million imperial gallons of water per day-capacity desalination plant, is being developed by Marafiq—the Sultanate’s first centralised utilities provider catering initially to the industrial zones.
The deadline for submitting bids by pre-qualified companies has been extended to September 15 from an earlier deadline of August 1. As many as eight pre-qualified companies are expected to submit their bids for building the power and water project, which will take three years to complete.
The project is expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the seven-year outlook report recently released by the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP).
The new project is designed to primarily meet the energy requirements of a new refinery and petrochemical complex under development at the Duqm free zone. The 230,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) greenfield refinery is being jointly developed by the Oman Oil Company and Kuwait Petroleum International at a cost of around $7 billion.
Duqm is presently served by a 66 megawatt diesel-fired power plant, owned and operated by the Rural Areas Electricity Company (Raeco), which is part of the Electricity Holding Company or the Nama Group.
The current development of the Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm (SEZAD) will attract an additional industrial investment, which is expected to drive demand for power.
The demand for electricity in Duqm is expected to grow significantly as SEZAD realises its ambitious development plans to transform the special economic zone into a world-class investment destination.
The first phase of the SEZAD master plan anticipates electricity demand will reach 650MW by 2025.
Meanwhile, a Chinese consortium is also considering a 300MW coal-fired power plant in Duqm. Two state-owned Chinese power giants—Hebei Electric Power Design and Research and Ningxia Electric Power Design Institute—plan to conduct an environmental impact assessment study for getting environment clearance from the Oman government for a $406 million-coal-fired power project in the Duqm free zone.
Marafiq was established as a joint venture between the Takamul Investment Company, a subsidiary of Oman Oil Company, with a 65 per cent share and Sembcorp Utilities (Oman) with a 35 per cent stake.
Marafiq has signed a 25-year utilities service agreement with the Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm (SEZAD), which gives Marafiq an exclusive right to provide various utilities and industrial gases to all industries within SEZAD; and to support the vision of SEZAD towards developing a world-class industrial park.
Marafiq is considered as a ‘one-stop shop’ provider of a full range of centralised utilities. This concept will also enable industries to outsource all the utilities required to support their operations to Marafiq, rather than build and run their own utilities and facilities.
This will not only offer industries with a reliable utilities supply, but also creates synergies, as well as the opportunity to benefit from economies of scale, and save on investment and operating costs, thereby allowing industries to focus on their core businesses.