• Companies and consortiums have been invited to submit prequalification entries by 9 July for wastewater treatment plant
  • Project is being developed as a public-private partnership (PPP) scheme
  • Project was first announced in 2009, but has suffered from numerous delays

The Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP), formerly the Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB), has reopened the prequalification process for the Umm al-Hayman wastewater treatment plant.

The PTB prequalified six consortiums for the public-private partnership (PPP) project in 2012, but after slow progress and a number of changes to Kuwait’s PPP law and development body, the newly named KAPP has now restarted the prequalification process. Companies and consortiums have until 9 July to submit prequalification entries. KAPP is developing the project in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Works (MPW).

The work involves design, financing, building, operation and maintenance of a new Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) with an initial treatment capacity of 500,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d), which can be expanded to 700,000cm/d. It also includes upgrading and extension of the Egaila pumping station, refurbishment of Umm al-Hayman City pumping station, construction of Sabah al-Ahmed pumping station, sewer transmission lines and treated sewage effluent (TSE) transfer and distribution systems.

MPW will enter into a PPP agreement with the selected consortium, which will form a project company, for a 27.5 year period. The agreement will include a build-operate-transfer (BOT) agreement, under which the project company will design, finance, construct and commission the wastewater plant within a period of 2.5 years, followed by a 25-year period of operation and maintenance (O&M).

At the end of the PPP agreement, ownership of the wastewater facility will be transferred to the MPW. The PPP agreement will also include a 5.5 year design-build-operate (DBO) deal for the associated wastewater transmission and sewage effluent networks. Under this agreement, the Kuwaiti government will finance the capital costs of the assets and the investor will be required to build the networks and operate and maintain the networks for a 3-year period before transferring them back to MPW.

The Umm al-Hayman project, which will reduce raw sewage discharge in Southern Kuwait, was originally announced in 2009 and was initially planned to be completed in 2015. Following numerous delays, those bidding on the project are hopeful that the scheme will progress swiftly following the 2014 reforms of the country’s PPP law and body.

“We are more optimistic about the prospects for PP projects in Kuwait,” says a source at a major international contractor active in the country. “Now that Al-Zour North is under way, and the amendments have been made the process will hopefully be much faster this time.”

The executive regulations for the new 2014 PPP law were published in March. The PPP law was altered in response to the protracted tendering process for Kuwait’s first independent water and power project (IWPP), Al-Zour North.

In February, KAPP invited developers to prequalify for the country’s next two independent water and power projects (IWPPs), the Al-Zour North 2 IWPP and the Al-Khairan 1 IWPP.

The Al-Zour North 2 IWPP will have a power capacity of at least 1,500MW, to be provided through combined-cycle gas turbines, and a desalination capacity of 102 million imperial gallons a day (MIGD).

The Al-Khairan 1 IWPP is planned to have the same capacity as the Al-Zour North plant, but will run on low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) as its primary fuel. The plant will be designed so that it can accommodate crude oil, gas-oil and natural gas as back up fuels. The desalination capacity of the plant is scheduled to be 125MIGD.

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