The Singapore government is expected to call for bids for a stake in the Tuas Power station currently under construction on the island, Dow Jones reports.

The government has appointed a consultant to advise on the divestment. Prequalifying tenders will take place once a deal with Indonesia to supply gas for the plant has been finalised.

Tuas will start operating in April 1999. When it enters service it will break Singapore Power’s monopoly over supply to the state.

The investment arm of the Singapore government, Temasek Holdings, is expected to retain 40 per cent of the shares in Tuas Power. The company was spun off from the Public Utilities board in October 1995.

Tuas power has an authorized capital of $860 million. This represents the investment in the first stage, 1200 MWe oil-fired power plant. A second stage, which will be gas-fired, is expected to cost a further $570 million.