Booz Allen Hamiltonhas been selected for the strategic advisory position; Germany’s Fichtnerwill take on the technical role; Ernst & Young has been awarded the financial advisory; and Prima Law & Consultation Office, with Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer, will act as legal advisers. Thirteen prequalified companies and groups submitted proposals for the posts in the summer (MEED 26:8:05).

Theadvisers will map out a privatisation strategy for SWCC, recommending what should be privatised and when. The studies are expected to take 12 months to complete and will be followed by a two-year implementation period.

The initiative is the second element in SWCC’s privatisation programme. The first, being implemented with Saudi Electricity Company (SEC)through the Water & Electricity Company (WEC)venture, calls for private sector participation in independent water and power projects (IWPPs), the first of which, at Shouaiba, was signed off on 15 November (MEED 18:11:05; 22:4:05).

SWCC accounts for 25 per cent of global desalination capacity, producing 3.4 million cubic metres a day of water through its 30 plants, accounting for 60 per cent of the kingdom’s requirements.