ASAR, Kuwait’s leading corporate law firm and one of the region’s top tier firms announced today that it has acted as the local legal advisor to the Partnership Technical Bureau (PTB) in respect of the structuring and procurement of the Az Zour North (Phase 1) independent water and power producer (IWPP) project, which is the first Public Private Partnership Project in Kuwait. The project was awarded to the the consortium led by GDF Suez and the project agreements were signed on December 12, 2013.
The project, which involves the development, design, engineering, construction, operation, maintenance and transfer of a power and water desalination plant with a capacity of at least 1,500 MW and 102 MIGD, is the first phase of a major power generation and water production complex that will be developed under five stages at the Az Zour Site and that will provide a total capacity of 4,800MW and 280 MIGD.
This project is intended to enable the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) to meet the State’s growing electricity and water demand. The government intention is to introduce private sector capital and practices to sectors traditionally under the control of the public sector, reduce the cost of services, improve the reliability of power and water production and make the sector more competitive.
In compliance with the IWPP Law No. 39 of 2010 as amended and the BOT Law No. 7 of 2008, the project will be undertaken by a public joint stock company, Shamal Az-Zour Al-Oula, with 50% of the shares being offered to Kuwaiti citizens, 40% to the consortium led by GDF Suez, and the remaining 10% to the Kuwaiti government.
Ibrahim Sattout, partner at ASAR, said: We are proud to have participated in this landmark infrastructure development project which is the first Independent Water and Power Producer (IWPP) project being developed by the Ministry of Electricity and Water as a public private partnership (PPP) and under the IWPP Law No. 39 of 2010 and the BOT Law No. 7 of 2008. Our role consisted of providing advice to the PTB on all aspects of the project, including the tender and award process, conducting due diligence, drafting and reviewing the project documents, providing critical Kuwaiti law advice relating to the project and local compliance matters, financing of the project the incorporation of the project company and the IPO.
The financiers were also faced with a number of challenges as they too were tackling a novel project structure requiring unique security structuring given the limitations they had on security they could take, added Akusa Batwala, senior associate at ASAR.
The ASAR team involved in this project included the partners Mr. Robert Little and Mr. Ibrahim Sattout, and senior associate Mrs. Akusa Batwala and associate Charbel Fadel. “For ASAR, it is another example of our expertise in advising and assisting local and international clients on major and complex projects in Kuwait”, added Ibrahim Sattout.