Kuwait’s Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) has invited expressions of interest from developers to build a 700,000 cubic metre a day (cm/d) wastewater treatment plant at Umm al-Hayman. The launch of the tender follows the successful approval of the project by Kuwait’s Higher Committee on 7 December.

The facility will have an initial capacity of 500,000 cm/d, while the second phase will add a further 200,000 cm/d capacity. This represents an increase of 100,000 cm/d on the original plans due to a revision of population forecasts.

It will be located on the site of the existing Umm al-Hayman wastewater treatment plant in southern Kuwait, with transmission and distribution systems extending to the surrounding catchment areas. The new Umm al-Hayman facility will treat raw sewage that will be diverted from the Riqqa plant, which has a capacity of 180,000 cm/d, which is to be decommissioned.

The winning bidder will design, finance, build, test, commission, operate and maintain the wastewater treatment plant, as well as the associated wastewater transmission and sewage effluent networks. The Ministry of Public Works will enter into a contract for an investment term of 25 years in addition to a design and construction term.

Developers have until 15 March to submit expressions of interest. According to a source at the PTB, a request for qualification (RFQ) is scheduled to be issued in April, which would be followed by a shortlist of qualified companies two months later. Bids will be invited in July and companies would have at least six months to respond. Technical bids will be evaluated first before financial offers are made.

A joint stock company will be formed for the project, of which 40 per cent will be held in shares and 40 per cent by the private developer. The final 20 per cent is to be held by a government agency. Five government agencies will be approached for the stake. Should no agencies take the stake option, the additional 20 per cent will be shared equally between the intial public offering (IPO) portion and the private developer. The ownership breakdown will be finalised before the RFQ is issued.

The PTB is advised by the UK’s HSBC as financial adviser, Germany’s Fichtner as technical adviser and the UK’s Norton Rose and the UAE’s Al-Tamimi & Co as legal advisers.