RFP issued for waste privatisation

24 February 2006

The request for proposals (RFP) has been issued for the project to outsource to the private sector the operation and maintenance (O&M) of Abu Dhabi's municipal and solid waste treatment and disposal. The estimated AED 500 million ($136 million) project, for which proposals are due in April, will be the latest in a growing list of public services in the emirate to be outsourced to the private sector. The programme is being overseen by a government committee made up of Abu Dhabi Municipalities & Agriculture, Mubadala Development Company and the Environmental Department (MEED 8:7:05).

The committee is looking to award the project on a 10-year basis and may let more than one contract. Under the plan, the private sector will be responsible for the O&M of municipal solid waste transfer, treatment and disposal and the construction of some new facilities. The existing landfill site, compost plant and transfer station at Mussafah will be closed down and will be replaced by new transfer facilities at Mafraq and landfill and composting units at Al-Dhafra. Solid waste collection is not included in the project, having already been outsourced by Abu Dhabi Municipality. The committee's consultant is Germany's Fichtner.

In recent months, Abu Dhabi has stepped up its drive to increase private participation in the provision of public services. Four bids are under evaluation at Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) for an eight-year O&M contract covering Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC - MEED 16:12:05). Advisers are also being taken on board by ADWEA and its wholly owned subsidiary Abu Dhabi Sanitary Sewage Services Company for the privatisation of the emirate's two main sewage treatment plants, Mafraq and Zakher in Al-Ain (MEED 4:11:05).

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