Kuwait’s Partnerships Technical Bureau will complete the masterplan for Kuwait’s $7bn metro project in March next year.

According to a source close to the project the masterplan together with all the other design studies for the project will be finished by the end of August next year.

A consortium including the UK’s Atkins, the US’ Parsons Brinckerhoff and Gulf Consult is preparing the masterplan on behalf of the bureau.

The Partnerships Technical Bureau says it now plans to issue a request for proposals for the metro network by the end of December.

In November, MEED reported that more than 45 consultants have expressed interest in working on the project which is Kuwait government’s second public-private partnership (PPP) scheme since the summer.

The successful bidder will act as the transaction adviser, helping the bureau structure, procure and negotiate the deal.

This will also involve validating previous feasibility studies, carrying out due diligence on the project and overseeing the tendering process.

For construction, the bureau has not yet decided whether to tender the contract to build the metro as one or more packages, the source tells MEED.

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 now 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.