Kuwait’s Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) has postponed the prequalification of developers to bid to build the country’s first independent water and power project (IWPP).

PTB published a request for proposals (RFP) on 27 June for the IWPP, which will have a capacity of 1,500MW of power and 100 million gallons a day of desalinated water. The RFP called for submissions by 26 August.

This has now been put on hold until the application of the law for establishing project companies for IWPP schemes (Law 39/2010) has been determined.

A source close to the project has indicated that this process may take around three months, after which the RFP will be re-launched.

While this has resulted in delays to the IWPP tender, a spokesperson for the PTB has said that once in place, a clear legal framework for IWPPs would assist the tendering of this project, as well as similar future projects.

PTB launched preliminary discussions with developers in May in a market sounding. The winning bidder will design, finance, build, operate and maintain the gas-fired power and water facility at a site in Al-Zour North.

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.

Power and water from the project will be sold to the Electricity & Water Ministry under a 30-year offtake agreement.

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, along with advantages such as water access, which could be expected to speed up the early stages of the 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 an traditional engineering, procurement and construction contract.