Bahrain’s Electricity & Water Authority (EWA) is holding talks with five regional funding agencies to supply it with $500m to finance the development of the country’s transmission network.

The authority is holding discussions with funding agencies in Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank has already agreed to provide loans to upgrade transmission lines.

“We have already secured loans from three funding agencies and are just waiting to finish talks with another two. We don’t go to international banks as we get better terms from government agencies,” says Abdulmajeed Ali Alawadhi, chief executive officer (CEO) of the authority.

The authority started planning the project to develop Bahrain’s transmission network in 2007 and aims to complete the scheme by 2011. Alawadhi says it has already awarded a contract to upgrade the electricity network. It will award a contract to build the water network once it has arranged financing.