OPWP chief sets out Oman’s desalination plans

Oman is planning up to four new desalination plants between now and 2017, Bob Whitelaw, CEO of the state-run Oman Power & Water Procurement Company (OPWP) told a conference in Muscat on 11 October 2011.

Giving the keynote speech to the second day of the MEED Oman Investment Forum, Whitelaw said bids would be invited shortly for the 42 MIGD (191,000 m³/d) capacity independent water project (IWP) at Ghubra in Muscat Governorate – before the end of the qualification process, due to finish in early November.

The deadline for bids will be March 2012 with an award due in May 2012. Commercial operation is set for April 2014.

Following a water resources assessment done on behalf of the Public Authority for Electricity & Water, OPWP is planning new water schemes at Qurayat and Suwaiq, respectively south-east and north-west of Muscat.
 Both will be IWPs, developed and financed entirely by the private sector.

The Qurayat IWP will be about 40 MIGD (182,000 m³/d), while the Suwaiq IWP will be slightly larger at around 50 MIGD (227,000 m³/d). Commercial operation of the two schemes is scheduled for 2016 and 2017 respectively.
OPWP is also examining several options for an independent power and water project to support a major maritime and industrial hub planned at Duqm on the east coast.

“New power and water capacity will be needed in Duqm, but the size and technology choices are still being studied,” Whitelaw said. “We hope to finish this review by the beginning of next year, and start the tendering process in the third quarter of the year.”