Abdullah AlHussayen, Minister of Water and Electricity, who recently inked the accords withrepresentatives of companies selected for the project, told newsmen that thiswas the first phase of the ministry's privatisation programme, which would beextended to Jeddah, Madinah, and Dammam in the subsequent months.
"We havechosen these four major cities since they use 50 per cent of the water consumedin the Kingdom. The project is in keeping with the ministry's efforts toimprove the performance in water and wastewater sectors by providing enhancedservices to customers with the technical support of several internationalspecialised companies," the minister explained.
He added that these companies will assist in theprocess of issuing the proposed Public Private Partnership (PPP) contracts tomanage, operate and maintain the water and wastewater services in the capital.
According tothe agreement, these signatories would also assist in the prequalificationprocess of international companies that are bidding for the PPP project.
"Several international specialised companies from France, Germany,Singapore and Japan have shown interest in participating in water andwastewater services projects in the Kingdom," he said.
Only half ofthe wastewater is treated in the Kingdom; this could increase to 85 per cent inthe coming two years if ministry projections are accurate.
The firstcontract was signed with Fichtner in cooperation with Price WaterhouseCoopersfor SR5 million to lead the process of issuing the Riyadh city privatisationcontract and preparing assets transfer plan from the General Directorate ofRiyadh region.
The Germancompany will review the current financial regulations and propose suitableamendments in accordance with the sector's privatisation requirements.
The secondcontract was signed with the Law Firm of Yousef and Mohammed Al Jadaan incooperation with Clifford Chance LLP for the value of SR3.5 million to providelegal consultancy services.
Forex traders say the South Asian currency is trading in a narrow range as the support from easing crude oil prices is negated by strong dollar demand