Progress on the ambitious $3 billion Gulf power grid is slackening, with privatisation gaining priority in some Gulf countries.

Unless Gulf countries first create national grids and arrive at a consensus on import/export of power, the Gulf grid may take some years to become a reality.

Three Gulf countries have given high priority to their utility privatisation programme. As a result, they are treating the Gulf power grid as a lower priority.

As part of this trend, Oman is putting two more IPPs up for tender. These are Sharqiya and Barka, which Oman want commissioned by mid-2003. An advisory consortium of ABN Amro, Denton Hall, and Mott MacDonald has been approved.

The projects will be BOO, with separate power purchase agreements and fuel supply agreements.