Kuwaiti government to sell half of Az-Zour North One project stake in 2017

Azzour NorthOneThe power and water generated through the project will be supplied to Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity and Water. (Image source: Shamal Azzour Al Oula)Kuwait’s government plans to sell 50 per cent shares in its Az-Zour North One Independent Water & Power Project (IWPP) to the citizens by the middle of next year

According to state news agency Kuna, the US$1.7bn Az-Zour North One project located about 100km south of capital Kuwait City, began full commercial operations last month and is now gearing up for its debut public issue.

The gas-fired combined cycle power and desalination plant has a 1,500MW capacity.

It is 40 per cent owned by three partners – France’s Engie , Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation and Kuwaiti firm AH Al Sagar & Brothers, while the rest of the stake is with Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund KIA, Public Institution for Social Security and Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP).

Built on the public-private partnership (PPP) model, the Az-Zour North One will have a daily capacity of about 480,000 tonnes, accounting for 12 per cent of the installed generation capacity and about 23 per cent of the installed desalination capacity in Kuwait.

A long-term 40-year Energy Conversion and Water Purchase Agreement was sealed in 2013 by the government with the partners and the plant was completed on schedule in under three years from the start of construction on 26 November, said the Kuna report.

Under this, all of the power and water generated through the project will be supplied to Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity and Water.

As per the deal, the government is mandated to sell 50 per cent of its ownership to Kuwaiti citizens, through an IPO. However, it will retain 10 per cent stake following the IPO, the report added.

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