Manama names preferred bidder for social housing scheme

01 March 2011

Housing Ministry change may hold up progress

The Bahrain government has named the local Naseej as preferred bidder on the development of a social housing project on the island, although subsequent changes in the housing ministry may hold up progress on the scheme.

A source close to the project confirms that Naseej is preferred bidder on the scheme and the consortium had started negotiations with the Housing Ministry about moving forward with the development of the project.

However, King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa announced on 26 February the replacement of Housing Minister Sheikh Ebrahim bin Khalifa with former Labour Minister Majeed bin Mohsen al-Alawi. “We still don’t know how long a delay we face now, because of the changes in the ministry. So far they have not communicated with us,” says one source involved in the project.

Several other projects in Bahrain could also be affected by the reshuffle, which included creating a new Energy Ministry including the Oil and Gas Ministry, and Electricity and Water Authority (Ewa). Ewa is currently working on two wastewater projects, at Muharraq and Tubli. Sources close to the Muharraq project say it is continuing to progress towards financial close and has not been affected by the changes at Ewa. Because the Tubli scheme is at a much earlier stage, the sources say it is still unclear whether it will be affected by the changes.

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