Kuwait’s construction sector has recovered in 2012 after reporting a 30 per cent drop in activity from 2010 to 2011. The $3.1bn-worth of awards in the first three quarters of 2012 was up 10 per cent on the $2.8bn awarded during the same period in 2011.

Since then, the Public Works Ministry has awarded the $2.6bn contract for the Subiya Causeway, the biggest award of the year. The increase can be largely attributed to the award of a large number of major construction deals in the healthcare and education sectors.

Healthcare awards

The second biggest construction deal awarded in 2012 to date was the $616m contract won by the local Alghanim International General Trading & Contracting to build the Kuwait Cancer Centre in Sabah.

The addition of three other healthcare projects brought the total value of deals awarded in the sector this year to $1.2bn. This included an estimated $350m deal for the Al-Amiri hospital, the third-largest contract award in the first three quarters of the year.

The second-largest award in 2012 is the $351m infrastructure package on Kuwait University’s Sabah al-Salem campus project, located at Shadadiyah, 20 kilometres west of Kuwait City.

Kuwait top 5 construction awards, 2012
Project Client Value ($m)
Subiya Causeway Public Works Ministry 2,600
Kuwait Cancer Centre Health Ministry 616
Kuwait University: infrastructure packages B5 and A5  Kuwait University 351
Al-Amiri hospital expansion Health Ministry 350
Kuwait airport: infrastructure package Directorate General of Civil Aviation 313
For further information visit www.meed.com/meedprojects

Kuwait University has emerged as a key construction client over the past two years and has maintained this position in 2012 with awards covering five projects worth a total of $733m.

The development is valued at more than $5bn, with about $2.4bn of schemes under construction. There is still an estimated $3bn-worth of deals to be awarded. One of the most anticipated packages is the proposed medical campus and 600-bed university hospital.

The Public Authority for Housing & Welfare (PAHW) was one of Kuwait’s biggest clients in 2011, having awarded about $1.1bn of deals. The authority is developing three residential schemes for Kuwaitis who are entitled to housing support. Despite a quiet 2012, PAHW will remain an important client in 2013, having recently received bids for several public building contracts.

In addition to housing and social infrastructure schemes, Kuwait is planning to undertake several multibillion-dollar projects to upgrade its ageing transport infrastructure.

Upcoming tender deadlines
Project Client Submission
Kuwait International airport: new terminal Public Works Ministry Q4 2012
Kuwait metro: rolling stock Partnerships Technical Bureau Q2 2013
Nawaseeb road Public Works Ministry Q1 2013
For further information visit www.meed.com/meedprojects

The Public Works Ministry plans to invest $14bn in building 88 road projects over the next five years and recently prequalified about 30 firms to bid on major highway deals. One of the largest upcoming tenders is the estimated $1bn Doha Link Bridge, which will connect to the Subiya Causeway.

Lack of consensus and political wrangling continue to impede Kuwait’s projects sector. In October, the National Assembly was dissolved for the second time in less than a year. The lack of consensus resulted in the assembly voting to scrap the country’s first independent water and power project. Kuwait’s projects market will only reach its true potential once the political wrangling is resolved.