A request for indicative bids (RIB) is due to be issued by mid-July for the privatisation of Mina Salman port and the new Khalifa bin Salman port under construction at Hidd.

Prospective bidders will be asked to submit plans for pricing, shareholding structure and the logistics of transfer from government to private sector control. The plan is then to prequalify three or four operators which will be asked to submit detailed technical and financial offers.

Release of the RIB awaits approval by the government departments concerned – the Ministry of Finance & National Economy and the Ports Directorate – of a privatisation study submitted in April by a team of advisers comprising KPMG, Trowers & Hamlins and Australia’s Meyrick, a specialised ports consultancy.

Many of the existing facilities at Mina Salman are due to be transferred to the new port on its completion in mid-2006 (MEED 21:5:04).