Kuwait’s Ministry of Public Works is planning to spend KD700m ($2.3bn) on projects in the financial year of 2017/18, according to Ghalib al-Shamari, the ministry’s assistant undersecretary of the special projects department.

This will be a 30 per cent decrease from the figure announced in November last year when the ministry said that it had earmarked $3.3bn for projects. 

The ministry will spend KD135m of this budget on building and real estate projects, Al-Shamari told MEED in a telephone interview on 20 March. “The ministry’s focus in the coming years will see roads and building work prioritised. Much of the building work will be government ministries and healthcare schemes,” he said. 

“This budget includes a number of hospital schemes that fall under the ministry’s responsibility,” he added.

In May last year MEED reported that Italy’s Impresa Pizzarotti was appointed as the main contractor for the design and build of the maternity hospital in the Shuwaikh area, which will have 600 beds for adult women and 216 neonatal intensive care beds.

“We are also at the final design stage for the Police Hospital,” explains Al-Shamari. The estimated $700m hospital, which will have 500 beds, will also be developed in the Shuwaik area.

US-based architecture firm NBBJ is working on the design of the projects.

“The MPW is also planning to invite contractors to submit bids for a children’s hospital in the Al-Sabah medical area soon,” said Al-Shamari. The 500-bed scheme will cost approximately $500m.

The MPW currently has $1.4bn-worth of building and real estate work under construction. The largest project is the maternity hospital, which is expected to be completed by 2019.