Kuwait prepares rail tenders

25 November 2015

Government aims to start work on projects in 2017

The Kuwait Authority for Private Partnerships (KAPP) expects to begin prequalification for the Kuwait Metropolitan Rapid Transit System and the Kuwait National Rail Road in March 2016, said Adel al-Roumi, general manager of KAPP, at MEED’s Kuwait Projects Conference on 24 November.

Feasibilty studies are complete and documents are being prepared.

Kuwait expects to start work on its long-delayed metro project in 2017, according to Talal al-Shimeery, director of the economic department at the general secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development.

”The metro will cost around $18.5bn,” said Al-Roumi. “We are committed to phase 1, which will have 6 sections. Phases 2 or 3 might be dropped if the demand isn’t there.”

The first phase will be 23.7 kilometres long with 19 stations. The second phase will be 21km long with 27 stations. The third will be 15km with 15 stations.

The $2bn national rail project is expected to cover more than 400km and eventually connect to the GCC rail network.

”We are still in discussion with legal entities in Kuwait and regulators,” said Al-Roumi. “It will start as a freight service, and we may add passenger [capacity] later.” 

The projects will both be implemented on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis by KAPP and private developers.

KAPP is pushing ahead with a major public-private partnership (PPP) programme, and already has $20bn-worth of schemes in the market.

Kuwait is preparing a new development plan that involves major infrastructure investment.

“The development plan depends on the participation of public sector entities and the private sector,” said Al-Shimeery. “Projects in Kuwait that are not repetitive and have a strategic impact have been adopted.”

Of Kuwait’s development plan, about a quarter of the investment, or KD8bn ($26.3bn), has been allocated to private sector investment.

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