Kuwait’s Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) expects to award a $957m highway infrastructure package for South al-Mutlaa City in June, according to Naser Khraibut, director of planning at PAHW, speaking at the MEED Construction Leadership Summit in Dubai on 25 May.

A joint venture of Italy’s Salini and Turkey’s Limak will sign the contract shortly.

US-based Hill International will also sign an $89m five-year project management contract.

PAHW expects to tender 50 or 60 contracts to implement the construction of the $20bn development in the next year.

PAHW will begin prequalification for residential infrastructure on phases 2, 3 and 4 of South al-Mutlaa City shortly. Each package will be worth $1-2bn.

Developers are also being sought to develop residential, commercial and industrial zones in the new city, which will have a total area of 100 square kilometre.

PAHW has the authority to approve contracts and payments internally, avoiding the delays experienced at other government clients, Khraibut emphasised.

“The budget is already allocated and it is in the National Development Plan,” he said on the sidelines of the summit. “Housing is the first priority for parliament and the government, and from a political point of view a delay or not building these cities is unacceptable.”

However, PAHW is preparing to tap other sources of finance for future new cities.

It is creating a special purpose vehicle (SPV) with South Korea’s Land and Housing Corporation to develop South Saad al-Abdulla City. The $10-15bn city will have a population of 300,000 to 400,000 people, and cover 59 square kilometres.

The SPV will design and tender the new city.

PAHW will also tender the design work for South Sabah al-Ahmed City by the end of 2016. Infrastructure tenders for the 60 square kilometre city will then follow.