Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport has approached banks about appointing an additional financial adviser on the Mafraq-Ghweifat motorway project.

The scheme is being carried out on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis.

The adviser will work with the current financial adviser, accountancy firm Ernst & Young, during the last stages of appointing a preferred bidder for the project and raising finance for the $2.7bn scheme.

A request for proposals for the advisers was issued to banks in late November, describing the role as a “liquidity adviser” to the Department of Transport.

“Discussions with banks, including about the scope of the work they would take on, are still ongoing,” says a source close to the government.

Several banks are committed to supporting bidders competing for the project, which rules them out as advisers.

Three consortiums bid for the project on 24 December: a consortium led by Australia’s Macquarie; the Mafraq Motorway Group, led by Austria’s Strabag; and a Chinese joint venture of China Communications Construction Company and MTD Capital.

A preferred bidder is expected to be named by the end of March.