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Sumitomo Take Lead in Oman’s High-tech Desalination Project

A consortium led by Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corporation has successfully won a contract to develop an Independent Water Project (IWP) at Ghubrah in Muscat Governorate with an estimated investment of $350 million.

Sumitomo, along with consortium members Malakoff International Ltd (MIL) of Malaysia and Cadagua of Spain, are due to establish a project company that will formally obtain a license to design, construct, own, finance, operate and maintain the 42 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) capacity desalination plant at Ghubrah.

While Sumitomo and Malakoff will each have a 45% shareholding in the project company, the rest will be held by Cadagua. The award of the keenly anticipated contract, confirmed in simultaneous statements issued by all three consortium partners, represents a major milestone for the state-owned Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) in its ongoing efforts to secure the rapidly escalating potable water needs of Muscat Governorate.

Working along with the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW), OPWP is credited with fast-tracking the complex project – its first IWP under the sector law – through its various stages to a final award yesterday.

The Ghubrah project is only the second IWP to be privately procured so far in the Sultanate, the first being the relatively small 80,000 cubic metres / day capacity desalination project launched by Veolia Water in Sur in 2008.

The Ghubrah IWP has been slated for fast-track implementation with a view to bringing it into operation by September 2014. Sumitomo and its consortium partners are already gearing to commence preliminary survey work at the project site, adjoining the existing Independent Power and Water Project (IWPP) owned and operated by Al Ghubrah Power and Desalination Company.

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