The low bid for the mandate came from the group led by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which bid $3.3 million for what the request for proposal (RFP) document described as six months’ work. A number of the bidders say they expect the advisory will actually take nearer nine months to a year to complete (MEED 4:4:03). The next lowest bid – at $3.7 million – came from the team led by BNP Paribas,which includes Germany’s Fichtnerand Norton Rose. The third lowest bid came from the team headed by Gulf International Bankand Booz Allen Hamilton, which presented two options, one of $3.9 million.

The shortlist will be drawn up by the Electricity & Water Sector Privatisation Committee chaired by Nabeel al-Maskati, under-secretary of planning & projects at the Ministry of Electricity & Water (MEW). The committee is made up of staff from the MEW and the Ministry of Finance & National Economy (MoFNE).

The successful group will act as consultant on the 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 (MEED 14:3:03).