Ten international and local developer groups have been prequalified to submit bids by 2 September for the 25-year concession, which will also involve the dismantling of the existing multi-stage flash (MSF) desalination plant. The new unit will use reverse osmosis (RO) technology.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank, is the lead adviser to GACA. The UK office of Japan’s Nippon Koei and France’s Gide Loyrette Nouel have been brought on board by the IFC to assist on the scheme’s technical and environmental aspects, and the legal aspects respectively.