European concerns are the lead bidders for a long-delayed contract to supply equipment for the second phase of Iran’s Masjid-e Soleiman hydroelectric scheme.

The companies include the Anglo-French group GEC Alsthom, Zurich-based ABB (which is offering turbines produced by Sulzer of Switz-erland), Siemens of Germany and the Austrian/local partnership of Elin Union and Farab.

Bidders were originally invited to offer financing arrangements. The client for the scheme is Iran Water and Power Resources Development Company (IWPRDC), which expects to reach a decision by the end of the year. Bids were originally invited last year but were postponed.

The second phase of the scheme involves doubling the plant capacity to 2000MW. Until being renamed in early 1997, the dam was known as Godar-e Landar. It was started under concessionary Japanese finance totalling US$895M, although Tokyo suspended the second tranche of the loan under pressure from Wash-ington, which has been conducting a worldwide campaign to isolate Iran politically and economically.

Civil works for the first phase of the project are being completed by South Korea’s Daelim Industrial Company. Equipment was supplied by Elin Union and Farab.