Bigger field, new focus for utilities privatisation

04 April 2003
Another wave of institutions has been issued with request for proposal (RFP) documents for the position of financial consultant on the proposed restructuring of the local power and water sector. To give the newcomers time to prepare their responses, the deadline for bids has been extended to 16 April from 2 April.

The new institutions to receive the RFPs are understood to include Ernst & Young, JP Morgan Chase & Company, Gulf International Bankand Deutsche Bank.

The initial group of companies included ABN Amro, BNP Paribas, Citibank, HSBC, Booz Allen Hamilton, PricewaterhouseCoopers, McKinsey & Companyand Deloitte & Touche(MEED 14:3:03). It is understood that some of the potential bidders may seek regional partners to support their proposals.

Potential bidders for the financial advisory position have also been informed that, through a decree issued from the prime minister's office on 17 March, a steering committee for the process has been formed. The Electricity & Water Sector Privatisation Committee is chaired by Nabeel al-Maskati, under-secretary of planning & projects at the Ministry of Electricity & Water (MEW), and will be made up of staff from the MEW and Ministry of Finance & National Economy (MoFNE).

Potential bidders for the financial advisory contract have been asked to submit their bids to an address within MEW, rather than MoFNE.

The RFP outlines a proposed three-stage reform of the power and water sector. Key components are a full review of the sector, recommending options for its liberalisation, the formulation of a national plan, a review of the existing sector law and advice on the establishment of an independent regulator. The mandate is also likely to involve the provision of financial advice on future power and water projects.

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