Kuwait’s Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) is expected to select an adviser for its $10bn railway project by the end of January.

The PTB is currently evaluating the technical proposals that prequalified companies submit on 27 December. The PTB prequalified 10 companies to bid on the contract in October (MEED 26:10:10).

“It is expected to take three to four weeks to finish the evaluation process, then we move to negotiation with the selected firm, then approval by the Audit Bureau,” says a source at the PTB.

The advisory contract was initially expected to be awarded by the end of 2010.

Kuwait is building the railway on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis and the transaction adviser will have to assist in structuring, procuring and negotiating the transaction. The successful adviser will also assist the PTB in planning the technical aspects of the railway, developing feasibility studies and establishing project financing.

It is expected to take three to four weeks to finish the evaluation process, then we move to negotiation

PTB source

Later, the PTB will assign an independent operator to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the railway for a fixed duration.

In other rail plans, a consortium led by Ernst & Young won the advisory deal for the $7bn Kuwait metro project in August 2010. The group also includes the UK’s Atkins as technical adviser and Ashurst, also from the UK, as legal adviser.