South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries has tendered the lowest of six bids for the construction of a 500-megawatt natural-gas fired power plant in Najaf, an Iraqi Electricity Ministry official said.
According to Bloomberg, Hyundai bid $158.9 million for the work; Metka SA (METTK) of Greece, Turkey’s Enka Insaat & Sanayi AS, Lanco Infratech Ltd. (LANCI) of India, and companies from Iraq and Jordan also bid for the project, Deputy Electricity Minister Salam Qazaz said in an interview.
The plant is to be built within 18 months.
“The winner of the bid will be announced between three days and one week following a study of technical and financial aspects of the tender,” Qazaz said in Baghdad.
In a separate bid, Hyundai Heavy, Lanco Infratech, three Iraqi groups and an Italian company submitted offers to build a 250-megawatt power station in Al-Qaim in western Iraq, Sabih Ishak, a director general at the Electricity Ministry, said in an interview from Baghdad. Results will be announced April 17, he said. The plant will run on gas from the nearby Akkas field, he said.
Iraq’s electricity plants and distribution system have suffered through years of conflict, sanctions and sabotage. Iraqis receive power from the national grid for an average of about one hour in every five. Frequent outages hamper economic reconstruction, and protests over unreliable electricity supplies have made the issue a major concern of the government.
Former Electricity Minister Karim Wahid resigned last June after two people were killed in riots over blackouts and power rationing. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pledged to address the problem after forming his new government in December.
A group of South Korean companies signed contracts on April 7 to build 25 power stations, half of 50 that are planned at a total value of $6.25 billion. Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) and Man SE (MAN) are among companies that have bid for the remaining 25 plants, Electricity Minister Raad Shallal said on March 23.
The government also invited bids in December for the construction of four bigger plants that would raise generating capacity by a combined 2,750 megawatts. Those bids will be for a 1,250-megawatt plant near Basra, and three plants of 500 megawatts each in the cities of Samawa, Diwaniya and Amarah.