Oman Power and Water Procurement (OPWP) has signed an agreement with a Spanish-Omani consortium for the Sohar independent water project (IWP).

The consortium includes Oman Brunei Investment Co (OBIC), Sogex Oman Co and Spainsh firm Valoriza Agua.

The the project, which is estimated to cost RO100m ($259m), is expected to have a production capacity of 250,000 m3 a day.

The Myah Gulf Oman Desalination Co will execute the project, which is anticipated to start operations in 2018.

Under the deal, OPWP will have the right to buy the desalinated water produced at the plant for a concessional period of 20 years.

The project is estimated to meet 80% of water demands in Batinah North region.

OPWP CEO Ahmad bin Saleh Al Jahdhami was quoted by Times of Oman as saying, "The project will have a role in supporting water security in Oman, in general, and in Al Batinah North, in particular, and will contribute to reducing the cost of water procurement thanks to the enhanced efficiency of the new plant."

The investing firm will offer the required technical expertise for the Omani employees and workers recruited at the project.

OPWP is the single buyer of power and water for all IPP/IWPP projects within the Sultanate of Oman.

It undertakes long term generation planning and publishes a 7 year statement, which includes the identification of new IPP/IWPP projects to be competitively tendered and developed by private sector entities.