Kuwait’s Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) has received expressions of interest from developers to build a 700,000 cubic metre a day (cm/d) wastewater treatment plant at Umm al-Hayman.

According to a source at the PTB, more than 35 companies submitted documents and most were international companies. A request for qualification (RFQ) will follow. Kuwait’s Higher Committee approved the RFQ document on 7 March, which PTB intends to issue in the first week of April.

Statements of qualification will be due by the first week of June. The PTB will then draw up a shortlist of qualified companies before inviting bids in July.

Existing wastewater treatment plants in Kuwait 
  Wastewater received (cm/d) TSE produced (cm/d) RO water produced (cm/d)
Sulaibiya 430,000 340,000
Umm al-Hayman 20,000 20,000
Riqqa 230,000 230,000
Jahra 120,000 120,000
Al-Khiran 300 300
cm/d=cubic metres a day; TSE=treated sewage effluent; RO=reverse osmosis. Source: Public Works Ministry

The facility will have an initial capacity of 500,000 cm/d, while the second phase will add a further 200,000 cm/d capacity. This represents an increase of 100,000 cm/d on the original plans due to a revision of population forecasts. The new Umm al-Hayman facility will treat raw sewage that will be diverted from the Riqqa plant, which has a capacity of 180,000 cm/d and is to be decommissioned.

It will be located on the site of the existing Umm al-Hayman wastewater treatment plant in southern Kuwait. The winning bidder will design, finance, build, test, commission, operate and maintain the wastewater treatment plant, as well as the associated wastewater transmission and sewage effluent networks. According to a prospective bidder, the water transmission component of the project will require a greater investment than the wastewater treatment plant. The Public Works Ministrywill enter into a contract for an investment term of 25 years in addition to a design and construction term.

A joint stock company will be formed for the project, of which 40 per cent will be held in shares and 40 per cent by the private developer. The final 20 per cent is to be held by a government agency. Five government agencies will be approached for the stake. Should no agencies take the stake option, the additional 20 per cent will be shared equally between the intial public offering (IPO) portion and the private developer. The ownership breakdown will be finalised before the RFQ is issued.

The PTB has employed the UK’s HSBC as financial adviser, Germany’s Fichtner as technical adviser and the UK’s Norton Rose and the UAE’s Al-Tamimi & Co as legal advisers.