Sumitomo consortium wins Al Ghubrah desalination

The contract for the Al Ghubrah Independent Water Project (IWP) in Muscat, Oman, has been awarded to a consortium of Sumitomo Corporation of Japan, Malakoff Corporation Berhad of Malaysia and Cadagua SA of Spain.

Oman’s first IWP will involve a 190,000 m³/d reverse-osmosis seawater desalination plant constructed on a build-own-operate basis over a 20‑year period. Commercial operation is expected to start in September 2014.

Oman’s daily water demand currently amounts to about 700,000 m³ and is expected to continue growing by 2‑3% per year. Demand is notably increasing in the metropolitan area centered on Muscat, and the Government of Oman is planning to launch multiple IWPs to address the situation.

The Al Ghubrah project is expected to cost up to approximately ¥ 30 billion (US$ 377.8 million) in total and is planned to be funded by Japanese financial institutions through a project finance scheme. Sumitomo and Malakoff will each invest in 45% of the shares of the project company as major shareholders. The two companies will also establish an operation and maintenance company.