Kuwait’s Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) says it will appoint an adviser to oversee the development of its $10bn railway by the end of February.

The PTB said at the start of the year that it planned to announce the rail adviser by the end of January (MEED 3:1:11).

“We are still in [the] technical evaluation phase. We will announce it once we’ve got approval from government authorities, such as the Audit Bureau, which should take another three to four weeks,” says a source at the PTB.

The PTB prequalified 10 companies to bid on the deal in October after they submitted technical proposals on 27 December. The advisory award was initially schedule to be in place by the end of 2010.

Kuwait is building the railway on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis and the transaction adviser will have to assist in structuring, procuring and negotiating the transaction. The successful adviser will also assist the PTB in planning the technical aspects of the railway, developing feasibility studies and establishing project financing.

Developing the railway is part of the PTB’s plan to raise $28bn by privatising and developing 32 projects on a PPP basis.

Another rail project planned is the $7bn metro system. A consortium led by Ernst & Young won the advisory deal for the Kuwait metro project in August 2010. The group also includes the UK’s Atkins as technical adviser and Ashurst, also from the UK, as legal adviser.