Bahrain’s Works Ministry will issue a request for proposals for the privatisation of the Tubli wastewater treatment plant this year, according to a source close to the project.

The ministry has retained a team of the UK’s HSBC, UK law firm Norton Rose and Germany’s Fichtner to advise it on the scheme, which will be the country’s second private wastewater project. The advisers are set to begin work this month.

The project is likely to involve the refurbishment and expansion of the existing Tubli Water Pollution Control Centre, which frequently runs at above capacity.

The plant has a design capacity of 200,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d), but peak flow in 2008 reached 322,000 cm/d.

The government had previously planned to expand the plant to 350,000 cm/d on an engineering, procurement and construction basis. However, it will be up to the consultants to finalise the capacity of the new private project.

The three advisors are already working on the country’s first wastewater privatisation scheme at Muharraq. Bids for the build-own-operate project are due by 17 February and the ministry has prequalified 11 consortiums to bid (MEED 23:10:09).

The winning developer will build a 100,000 cm/d wastewater treatment plant.

The Works Ministry is considering automatically prequalifying bidders on the Muharraq scheme for the Tubli project. The aim would be to reduce the lengthy bidding process that has put the Muharraq project behind schedule.

The request for proposals on Muharraq was issued in May 2009, nine months later than originally scheduled.