Kuwait’s Partnerships Technical Bureau has narrowed down the number of potential advisers on its first independent water and power project (IWPP) to two consortiums, ahead of an award later this quarter.

The final two consortiums competing to advise the government on the financial, legal, and technical aspects of developing an IWPP are French bank BNP Paribas with US’ law firm Chadbourne & Parke and Germany’s Lahmeyer International; and the UK’s HSBC with UK law firm Norton Rose and Germany’s Fichtner.

Kuwait tendered the advisory mandate on the development of an IWPP at Al-Zour in mid 2009, and by the 20 August bid deadline at least 10 groups had submitted proposals. This was narrowed down to four shortlisted bidding groups in early January (MEED 05:01:10).

Shortly after that, two groups were informed that were no longer being considered. The two consortiums comprised UK-based financial adviser Ernst & Young, US law firm DLA Piper and the UK’s Mott MacDonald; and the US’ Citigroup with UK lawyers Clifford Chance and the Shaw Group, also of the US.

A source in one of the two groups that remain in the contest says that Kuwait is eager to press ahead with its plans for the private development of a power and water plant and should announce a winning consortium in the first quarter of the year.

The planned IWPP will consist of a power plant with capacity of 1,500MW and a desalination plant capable of producing 100 million gallons a day of desalinated water.