Egypt has reopened bids to construct a wastewater treatment facility at Abu Rawash following the decision to add sludge management and cogeneration capabilities to the project.

The winning bidder will sign a 20-year public private partnership (PPP) agreement for the design, financing and construction of a secondary treatment stage, sludge management facilities and cogeneration unit.

The operation and maintenance of both the existing 1.2 million cubic metres a day (cm/d) primary treatment facility and the 800,000 cm/d newly-built secondary treatment stage will be the responsibility of the private companies.

Five consortiums were prequalified to bid for the project in April (MEED 15:4:10)

The groups are:

  • Orascom (local), Veolia (France), Aqualia Gestion (Spain) and Aqualia Infrastructure (Spain)
  • Mohamed Abdulmohsin al-Kharafi & Sons Company (Kuwait) and Cadagua (Spain)
  • AAW (local), Degremont (France) and Hassan Allam Sons (local)
  • Acciona Agua (Spain), Icat (local) and Samcrete (local)
  • Samsung Engineering (South Korea), Macquarie (Australia), Donga (South Korea) and KB Entec (South Korea)

“[The tender] is open to new bidders. Existing bidders will just have to provide a bit more information on their experience in digestion and cogeneration,” says a source close to the project,

Four of the five prequalified bids are expected to remain unchanged by the addition of the sludge digestion and cogeneration component of the project. One is likely to seek an additional partner.

Power from the cogeneration unit will feed into the wastewater treatment project. The higher costs associated with adding power generation to the project is to be absorbed by the bidders in higher bid prices.

As a result of the changes, the tender is likely to be delayed once more.  Egypt enacted a new PPP law in June, which resulted in several months of delay while the existing projects were adapted to ensure compliance with the new law.

The tender is being run by Egypt’s Housing, Utilities, and Urban Development Ministry represented by the Construction Authority for Potable Water and Wastewater with technical assistance from the PPP Central Unit of the Finance Ministry.

The UK’s Trowers & Hamlins and KPMG are the government’s legal and financial advisers respectively.