Washington-based International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank, is in talks with the Syrian government about acting as adviser on several new public-private partnerships (PPP) in the country.

The talks follow the IFC’s appointment as adviser on the country’s first independent power project (IPP) at Al-Nassirieh. The IFC signed the mandate to advise the Syrian government on the IPP on 1 November (MEED 13:11:09).

It is now in talks about further utilities schemes and projects in the transport sector, according to Moazzam Mekan, manager of advisory services at the IFC. “The government has an ambitious programme to address power shortage issues and over the medium to long term there is a lot of potential for PPP in Syria,” says Mekan.

The IFC has been appointed for the Al-Nassirieh scheme after the Syria’s Public Establishment for Electricity Generation & Transmission has already prequalified two consortiums, the Marafeq consortium, consisting of Syria’s Cham Holding and several Kuwaiti firms; and Finland’s Wartsila with Greece’s Terna Energy.

Mekan says it is possible that further groups could be prequalified for the project, “if the project could benefit from an expanded number of potential investors.”

The IFC is also currently in the process of appointing technical and legal advisors to assist in the development of the Al-Nassirieh plant. The IPP is expected to cost between $200m to $300m and produce up to 350MW of power.