Bahrain’s Public Works Ministry has completed evaluation of bids to build the Muharraq wastewater treatment plant and sewage conveyance system.

The UK’s United Utilities and South Korea’s Samsung Engineering has been selected as preferred bidder for the project. The joint venture offered the lowest price of BD0.550 a cubic metre.

The bid offered by Spain’s Acciona and Kuwait Finance House, the second cheapest offer at BD0.6072 a cubic metre, has been named second ranked preferred bidder.

The third rank bidder – with an offer of BD0.6896 a cubic metre – is Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Oger with Korea Water Resources Corporation and Samsung C&T, both of South Korea.

The two most expensive bids have been rejected. The bids were entered by the UAE’s Metito with Germany’s Berlinwasser with an offer of BD0.7165a cubic metre, and another from France’s Degremont and Japan’s Sumitomo with an offer of BD0.7426 per cubic metre.

According to a source close to the deal, the ministry intends to sign an agreement with the selected bidder by mid-August.

As all the bids are supported by a minimum of 75 per cent committed finance, financial close is expected to follow by the end of the year.

The government of Bahrain is being advised on the project by Germany’s Fichtner, UK bank HSBC and UK law firm Norton Rose.

The follow-on wastewater treatment project to be built at Tubli is expected to be launched soon. The government is engaged in a conceptual review for the project, which will either take the form of a new project or refurbishment works to the existing facility at the same site.

Expressions of interest are scheduled to be issued by the end of July, which will be followed by the issue of a request for qualification in August and request for proposals in September.