Kuwait’s Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) has invited bids to provide advisory services for its planned metro project.

The scheme involves the construction of a 171-kilometre-long network with four lines running across Kuwait City. About 60km of the lines will be underground.

A total of 45 consultants expressed an interest in the $1.7bn project in November last year.

Interested parties have until 20 April to respond to the tender. The winning bidder will provide full technical, legal and financial advisory services for the project.

About seven consortiums of legal firms, banks and engineering consultants are expected to bid.

“We expect to make an appointment by June this year,” says Adel al-Roumi, director general of the PTB. “Already, the level of interest has been encouraging.”

The winning bidder will act as the transaction adviser, helping the bureau structure, procure and negotiate the deal. This includes validating previous feasibility studies, carrying out due diligence on the project and overseeing the tendering process.

A private developer will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the metro network. It will own 40 per cent of the project company, the government will own 10 per cent and the state will sell the remaining 50 per cent to the public in an initial public offering.

The scheme is the second major project that PTB has initiated since its establishment in early 2009. The body expects to launch three more projects before the end of this year.