Bahrain’s Finance Ministry has received more than 50 responses to the call for expressions of interest (EOI) to develop the Tubli sewage treatment plant.

A request for qualification (RFQ) is to be issued shortly. The project will involve the development of a new-build 200,000-cubic-metre-a-day sewage treatment plant, with 6 kilometres of associated sewer networks.

The Tubli plant…is being run hugely over capacity, so it’s a [far] more attractive project now that is not included

Source close to the project

Initially the project had been expected to include a private-sector developer taking on the ownership and rehabilitation of an existing plant at the site, but this idea has been dropped. “The Tubli plant is pretty decrepit and is being run hugely over capacity, so it’s a much more attractive project to the private sector now that is not included,” says one source close to the project.

The existing plant will continue to be owned and operated by the Works Ministry for about the next 10 years, with the potential for an operation and maintenance contract to be tendered in the future.

The decision to push ahead with the Tubli project comes as an award for Bahrain’s first sewage treatment plant nears. The UK’s United Utilities and South Korea’s Samsung Engineering have been named preferred bidder on the Muharraq wastewater project. The project is set to be formally awarded to the UK/South Korean joint venture by the end of the year.

The government of Bahrain is being advised on the project by Germany’s Fichtner, UK bank HSBC and UK law firm Norton Rose.