Kuwait’s Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) has extended its request for qualification (RFQ) deadline to build an independent water and power project (IWPP) at Al-Zour North.

The 16 November cut-off date has been pushed back to 28 November (MEED 1:10:10). The winning bidder will construct the gas-fired project on a design, finance, build, operate and maintain basis. It will have a capacity of 1,500MW of power and 100 million gallons a day of desalinated water.

PTB launched preliminary discussions with developers in May in a market sounding. It intended to issue an RFQ on 27 June for the IWPP with a deadline of 26 August (MEED 27:5:10).

The RFQ was delayed when a new law – Law 39/2010 – came into effect. The law states that all projects larger than 500MW should be developed as IWPPs with a 40-year offtake agreement. The Al-Zour North IWPP tender documents have been adjusted to reflect this.

Projects smaller than 500MW may be undertaken by the Electricity & Water Ministry on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis. Alternatively, the ministry could decide to tender the projects as IWPPs under the PTB and Law 39/2010 would apply.

A team of France’s BNP Paribas, US law firm Chadbourne & Parke and Germany’s Lahmeyer International won the mandate to advise PTB on the project in March (MEED 23:3:10).

The Al-Zour North site was selected following an analysis of three sites at Al-Zour, on the east coast of the country. The site was selected as permission has already been granted for another power and water project at Al-Zour North planned by the ministry using an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. The PTB’s IWPP replaced the EPC project.

The government of Kuwait has indicated its preference for building out the country’s upcoming power and water plant pipeline on an IWPP basis, as opposed to using a traditional engineering, procurement and construction contract.