In much of the Gulf, the summer is often a slow period for business. But this year, Kuwait has witnessed unprecedented levels of activity in its power and water industries.
In the space of a few weeks, from late August to mid September, the government has launched the country’s first ever independent water and power project (IWPP) at Al-Zour, awarded the long-delayed Subiya power plant scheme, and given the go-ahead to another overdue power and water project at Al-Zour North.
Just as foreign contractors were losing hope that Kuwait would ever make progress in its power and water sector, the country’s politicians appear to be addressing the pressing need to upgrade their utilities.
International companies will be hoping this sudden burst of activity does not end as abruptly as it began. After years of stagnation, Kuwait must maintain its momentum as some foreign investors are already sceptical.
Kuwait’s reputation has suffered in recent years as a result of frequent project delays and cancellations in virtually every sector of the economy. The decision by US oil company Chevron Corporation to close its local office after pulling out of negotiations with state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corporation earlier this year did nothing for the country’s image.
The onus is now on the government to show that Kuwait is open for business. Successfully implementing the Al-Zour IWPP would be a big step in that direction.