Oman’s Public Authority for Electricity & Water (PAEW) has invited two bidders to attend meetings in the capital next week for a contract to provide management services for the sultanate’s water sector.

Financial bids from four international companies were opened at the end of June following a technical evaluation of the proposals.

The prices submitted are:

  • Veolia Water (France) – OMR19.1m ($49.6m)
  • Suez Environnement (France) – OMR21.8m
  • United Utilities International (UK) – OMR25.5m
  • Severn Trent Services International (UK) – OMR10.7m

Bids were submitted at the end of March. A Singaporean group of Jurong Consultants with Pub Consultants and Boustead Singapore was prequalified to bid and attended a pre-bid conference in January, but subsequently opted not to bid.

Germany’s Gelsenwasser was also prequalified, but did not attend the conference and did not put in a bid.

The winning bidder will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Oman’s existing water networks.

KPMG is the lead adviser to PAEW on the deal. The UK’s Atkins is technical adviser and France’s Gide Loyrette Nouel with the local Al-Busaidy, Mansoor Jamal & Company (AMJ) are legal advisers.

The advisers have been working on the programme since their appointment over a year ago following a competitive process in which five other bidders competed.

Oman is the second country in the region to move ahead with contracts for the management of its water sector. Saudi Arabia was the first to adopt the approach and has already tendered contracts to serve three of its largest cities.