Kuwait’s Partnerships Technical Bureau says the masterplan for Kuwait’s $7bn metro project will now be ready in March 2010.

More than 45 consultants have expressed interest in the project which is Kuwait government’s second public-private partnership (PPP) scheme since the summer.

The deadline for submissions was 22 November.

The Partnerships Technical Bureau says it now plans to issue a request for proposals for the metro network this month.

The bureau has not yet decided whether to tender the contract to build the metro as one or more packages.

The project involves the construction of a 171-kilometre-long inner-city metro with four lines running across Kuwait City. About 60km of the network will be underground (MEED 18:01:09).

A private developer will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the metro network.

The developer will own 40 per cent of the project company, the government will own 10 per cent and the state will then sell the remaining 50 per cent in an initial public offering.

The UK’s Atkins leads a consortium that includes US firm Parsons Brinckerhoff and local firm Gulf Consult to create a masterplan for both the metro and a national rail network that will eventually link up with the GCC rail network.