Bahrain evaluates bids for waste-to-energy project

05 April 2015

Project was first tendered in 2008

  • Waste-to-energy plant will be developed under a build-operate-transfer model
  • Nine groups submitted bids, with eight being accepted
  • According to sources close to the project, only five bids are viable

Bahrain’s Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry is evaluating bids for the contract to develop a large-scale waste-to-energy project.

Nine groups submitted bids, but only eight prices were accepted, for the estimated $1bn waste-to-energy scheme in March. Due to low entry barriers to participation in the tender, there was a wide variance in the range of prices submitted.

The project is planned to be developed as a 25-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme, which will include the following components:

  1. Initial pre-sorting/recycling
  2. Process for the treatment of domestic waste
  3. Recycling of construction waste
  4. Composting of green and garden waste
  5. Thermal treatment plant for the elements no longer able to be re-used or recycled
  6. A sanitary solid-waste landfill

The bidding groups and tipping prices received for the base price were:

  • Alawaji AlSuadi Holding (local) – BD4.72 a tonne
  • Konzeum Waste Services (local) – BD5 a tonne
  • Climate Finance (local) – BD7.5 a tonne
  • Acwa Power (Saudi Arabia) / Beatona (Saudi Arabia) / FCC (Spain) – BD14.82 a tonne
  • Vinci (France) – BD16.9 a tonne
  • Suez Environment (France) / Besix (Belgium) – BD17.18 a tonne
  • Arjit International (local) – BD19.75 a tonne
  • EAG (Malaysia)/Keppel (Singapore) – BD29.9 a tonne

According to sources close to the project, the five prices from Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power down (highlighted) are the only viable bids, with the others regarded as too low.

The waste to energy project was first tendered in 2008 as a smaller scheme and the contract was awarded to France’s Cunim, with HSBC’s Dubai office as the financial adviser. However, the project was cancelled in 2014 on the eve of financial close.

The scope of the new project has been significantly expanded and includes the full value chain of waste management and is aimed at reducing the amount of waste going to landfill by at least 90 per cent, and will also produce recycled and treated products of high quality from the incoming raw waste.

The last major utilities scheme in Bahrain to be developed under a public-private partnership (PPP) model was the Muharraq sewage treatment plant (STP). Construction work on the STP was completed in June 2014. The plant was developed by a consortium of South Korea’s Samsung Engineering Company, Abu Dhabi financial services firm Invest AD and the UK’s United Utilities International under a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) contract, the first BOOT project in Bahrain.

The plant will process 100,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d). Samsung Engineering and United Utilities will handle operations and maintenance for 27 years from the completion date.

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