Kuwait’s audit committee has approved the award of a KD72.5m ($250m) contract to Switzerland’s ABB and the local Al-Ahmadiah Contracting Company to build the Mina Abdullah drinking water pumping station complex.

The Electricity & Water Ministry earmarked the partnership for the contract in July. With the audit committee’s approval, the decision has been made final.

The other bidders for the contract were:

  • GS Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) (Athens-based)
  • Saipem (Italy)
  • Arab Contractors (Egypt)
  • Marubeni Corporation (Japan)

This is the second time that bids have been submitted for the project. Bidders responded to a previous tender last year with higher prices.

The Mina Abdullah pumping station is 70 kilometres from Kuwait City and will pump 335 million gallons potable water once complete. The facility will receive 45 million gallons from North Shoaiba desalination plant through two 1,200-inch pipes.

Thirteen pumps will be installed at the station, each producing 1.9MW. The pumps will draw water from the reservoirs and transport the water north to 22 reservoirs located at West Funaitees. The West Funaitees reservoirs will be capable of holding 1,124 million gallons of water.

Water from the project will be transported through a water distribution system to serve new residential areas such as Khayran City and Sabah al-Ahmad with a combined population of 700,000. Construction of the project is expected to take around two and a half years.

The project is part of Kuwait’s five-year development plan for the south of the country. Around 400 million gallons of desalinated water is produced and pumped at present. The government aims to raise this to 600 million gallons by the end of the five-year plan.