Shortlist for Kuwait water deal

Five teams are understood to have submitted bids for Kuwait’s $5.4bn Al Zour North 1 water and power project.

The teams who have responded to the request for proposals tender which closed in September include: ACWA Power with GIC and Samsung; Malakoff International; Mitsui with Kharafi; and GDF Suez.

Under the terms of the deal, the winning contractor - expected to be announced by the end of the year - will design and build a new desalination plant with the capacity of 1,500MW/100 million gallons-per-day

Al Zour will be the first privately financed water and power plant in Kuwait. Up to 40% of Al Zour will be owned by the successful bidder, with 50% to be floated via an initial public offering on the Kuwaiti exchange shortly before it goes into operation. The remainder will be held by the government.

Sources said the size of the project, the easing of regulations in the market and the shortage of investment opportunities in the Middle East means there was an abundance of lenders keen to get involved in the IWPP.