Az-Zour North One represents the first public-private-partnership (PPP) power and water project in Kuwait. Image courtesy of ENGIE.
The 1,500MW Az-Zour North One power plant was commissioned in December 2016. Image courtesy of Sumitomo Corporation.
Az-Zour North One power plant is located at Az-Zour, approximately 100km south of Kuwait City. Image courtesy of Sumitomo Corporation.

Az-Zour North One is a 1,500MW gas-fired combined-cycle power plant operating at Az-Zour, approximately 100km south of Kuwait City.

Commissioned in December 2016, the power plant, along with a 486,000m³/d sea-water desalination plant, was built as part of the first phase development of Az-Zour North Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP).

Az-Zour North One is Kuwait’s first integrated desalination and power project to be developed on public private partnership (PPP) model.

The Az-Zour North One combined facility is owned and operated by Shamal Azzour Al-Oula KSC, which is a joint venture between Kuwaiti Government entities (60%) and a private consortium comprising ENGIE (formerly GDF Suez, 17.5%) , Sumimoto (17.5%) and A.H. Al Sagar & Brothers (5%).

The Az-Zour North One power plant provides for approximately 10% of Kuwait’s total power generation capacity, while the desalination plant accounts for 20% of the country’s total desalination capacity.

Az-Zour North One power plant make-up

Built on a state-owned greenfield site located adjacent to the existing Az-Zour South power plant, the Az-Zour North One combined-cycle power plant is equipped with five 225.8MW GE 9F-3 gas turbines and two 251MW GE STG D1 steam turbines.

The power plant uses natural gas as primary fuel and fuel oil (gas oil) as back-up fuel.

Kuwait Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) delivers natural gas for the power plant through a 40in pipeline constructed by Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), while the gas oil is delivered through a new 16in branched pipeline.

The electricity generated by the power plant is fed to the national grid through a connection to 400kV substation at Az-Zour.

Power purchase agreement

The Kuwait Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) off-takes the entire output of the plant under a 40-year long-term Energy Conversion and Water Purchase Agreement (ECWPA).

Az-Zour North One IWPP financing

The Az-Zour North One IWPP involved an estimated investment of $1.8bn, which was financed through 80% debt and 20% equity.

A group of financial institutions including the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Standard Chartered Bank (Tokyo branch), and National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) provided $1.43bn loan facility for the project.

The Kuwaiti Government, Sumitomo, and GDF SUEZ (now ENGIE) invested the remaining amount.

Contractors involved

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) was the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the Az-Zour North One gas-fired power plant, while SIDEM was awarded the EPC contract for the desalination plant.

GE was the turbine and generator supplier for the power plant. Nippon Steel & Sumikin Stainless supplied 4,300t of ASTM S32304 and S31803 grade duplex stainless-steel plates for the integrated power and desalination facility.

Lahmeyer International Technical provided advisory services for the project.

ENGIE and Sumitomo are responsible for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the plant on a 50:50 basis.

Az-Zour North Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP) details

The Az-Zour North IWPP is planned to be developed in five phases. The integrated power and water project will be capable of producing 4.8GW of electricity and 280 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) of desalinated water at its full capacity.

The Az-Zour North IWPP phases two and three are scheduled for tendering in 2019.