A joint team from both companies will prepare an initial feasibility study and act as financial, technical and legal advisers to the ministry. ‘The purpose of the study is to reach a conclusion as to the potential of the sector,’ says a spokesperson for SGBL. ‘The objective is not to sell the government’s water resources or create revenues, but to improve distribution services. This could be pursued in a number of different ways, including concession agreements. No schedule has been arranged yet for the privatisation programme.’

The cost of rehabilitating Lebanon’s water distribution networks is estimated at as much as $1,000 million.