Oman names preferred bidders for Sohar and Barka projects

The Oman Power and Water Procurement company has named its preferred bidders for two major water desalination projects planned at Sohar and Barka on the sultanate’s Batinah coast.

The government-owned procurer has chosen a consortium led by Spanish water services company, Valoriza Agua to develop an independent water project (IWP) at Sohar and another consortium led by Japanese conglomerate Itochu Corporation to develop the Barka IWP according to local press.

Negotiations will follow to settle separate licenses for the development, design, construction, ownership, financing, operation and maintenance of the two projects.

Madrid-based Valoriza Agua joined with Oman’s Brunei Investment Company and Sogex Oman to bid for the two projects.

Itochu Corporation linked with Degremont, International Power and W J Towell. They were selected from seven consortiums that submitted offers for the water schemes in August. Failed bids came from five other consortiums - led by Abengoa, GS Inima, Hyflux, JGC and Veolia.

Together, the two water projects make up the single largest procurement of water desalination capacity in the Oman. Total investment in the two ventures is estimated at US$ 550 million.

The two water-only schemes will be powered from the grid. The 281,000 m³/d Barka IWP will be the larger of the two schemes. with the Sohar IWP, coming in at 250,000 m³/d of desalination capacity.

The Barka IWP may include a seawater intake and outfall system that will provide the raw seawater and discharge brine to the sea. Raw seawater for the Sohar IWP will be supplied by Majis Industrial Services Company, which operates a seawater intake and outfall system at Sohar Port.