The UK’s HSBC has been named as financial adviser on the development of the Al-Abdaliyah solar power project in Kuwait by the Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB).

Sources close to the project say that potential developers of the scheme, which could cost as much as $3bn, could be prequalified before the end of the year, and a request for proposals issued in the first quarter of 2014.

The project involves the construction of a 280MW integrated solar combined cycle power plant. Japan’s Toyota Tsusho Corporation made an unsolicited proposal to develop the project in 2008. After evaluating the scheme, the PTB has decided to progress with the project. It began seeking a financial adviser for the scheme in mid-2012.

The decision to push ahead with the scheme comes as speculation is once again mounting that the PTB’s first public private partnership (PPP) project, the Al-Zour North independent power and water project (IWPP), is close to reaching financial close.

Closing the Al-Zour North project is expected to open the way for a raft of other private sector projects in Kuwait to move forward. “Once Al-Zour North closes all the necessary legislation for the PTB’s project programme will be in place, and there can’t be any more challenges to the PPP process,” says one source close to the PTB.

By the end of October the tender for the Umm al-Hayman is also set to be released.