Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP) has missed releasing an expression of interest (EoI) for the the Kuwait National Rail Road project in the second quarter of the year.

The authority last year said it expected to release the EoI in the first quarter of 2017.

The target date was later extended to the second quarter of 2017, according to sources familar with the scheme.

Sources tell MEED the delay could be related to the restructuring of Kuwait’s land-based transport networks or the ongoing delay in the GCC railway network project, which Kuwait railroad is envisaged to link with.

It is understood that the administration of planned road projects in Kuwait is being moved from the Ministry of Communications to the newly-created Public Authority for Roads & Transportation (PART).

The Kuwait railroad scheme consists of six packages that include:

  • Civil works – design, build, finance, and major maintenance of all infrastructure works
  • Track, rail system and a passenger station in Kuwait City – design, build, finance, and maintenance structure
  • Passenger train operating company – operations and maintenance under a services contract
  • Freight train operating company – operations and maintenance under a services contract
  • Programme manager – responsible for delivery and managing interfacing
  • Rolling stock – this may be purchased by the Kuwaiti government or the GCC rail authority, depending on joint GCC decisions

KAPP is tasked with the scheme’s procurement process since the first two main packages of the scheme have been structured as public-private partnerships (PPP).

Under the current plan, the public joint stock project companies that will be formed for the two packages will have to hold an initial public offering (IPO) in accordance with Kuwait’s PPP law.

It is understood that KAPP has initiated the process of hiring transaction, financial, legal and technical advisers in late 2016.

Kuwait first announced its plan for a metro and a national railway network in 2005. The first unsuccessful procurement attempt for the scheme was undertaken in 2011.

The schemes have faced major delays due to disagreements in terms of the procurement model as well as the main authority that will be ultimately be responsible for delivering and managing the scheme.