Kuwait’s ministry of public housing is to award a US$1 billion contract for roads and infrastructure works within its $20bn South Al Mutlaa City project to a partnership between Italian contractor Salini Impregilo and Turkish contractor Limak Holding within the next two weeks.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Meed Construction Leadership Summit, Naser Khraibut, the director of planning at Kuwait’s public authority for housing welfare, said that the US project management company Hill International will also be awarded an $80 million to $90m contract to project manage the whole city, which is due to contain about 30,000 homes and house an eventual population of about 400,000.
“It has many packages,” said Mr Khraibut. “There are more than 120 schools. We have hundreds of mosques, hundreds of shopping areas inside the neighbourhoods. We have health clinics, police stations. We have 30 different types of building in each neighbourhood and there is a lot of neighbourhoods. Schools alone will cost us $1.5 billion.”
Mr Khraibut said that other contract packages are in the pre-qualification phase for contracts to tender and that it is interested in speaking to developers about bringing in amenities such as malls.
South Al Mutlaa is the first of five major new cities being brought forward by the Kuwait government.
A deal has recently been signed with the South Korean government for the development of the second city, a 60 square kilometre project known as South Saad Al Abdullah, said Mr Khraibut. It is initially expected to have up to 20,000 homes and a population of up to 400,000.
“We just came back from Korea, where we agreed everything and signed off,” said Mr Khraibut. “Now, we are in the process of the design of this city and creating that SPV.”
A third city, known as South Sabah Al Ahmad, is also set to cover a land area of 60 sq km. Mr Khraibut said that he anticipated sign-off for the progression of this project by the end of the year, and for tenders to be issued for design companies to carry out the city’s master planning and design.
“If we sign off by the end of this year, we will need two years for the design and after that we will start the tendering for the infrastructure process.”
Mr Khraibut said that these projects have full funding commitments and are considered to be a priority by the Kuwaiti government.
“The money is already allocated,” he said. “For us, we pride ourself on the fact that we are a country with institutions and laws. We have Kuwaiti National Development plans and those projects are in that plan. That plan comes with a law, so not doing those cities is breaking the law.”