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Kuwait projects market mark a milestone year

The year 2015 was a milestone for the projects market in Kuwait, as it saw KD9.7bn worth of contracts being awarded during the year, marking a 20 percent growth over the previous year.

More than half of the contracts signed pertain to the oil and gas sector, as Kuwait attempts to reach its oil production target of 4mn barrels per day by the year 2020. In July 2015, Kuwait awarded the much delayed New Refinery contract at Al Zour for KD3.9bn, while the contract for development of Lower Fars Heavy Oil production facility in the north of the country for KD1.2bn.

In the transportation sector, the authorities have awarded KD1.3bn worth contract to build the New Terminal Building at Kuwait International Airport. The project will double the airport passenger capacity to 15million passengers by 2020.

Furthermore, the year 2016 is likely to be a bumper year, as the authorities plan to sign deals worth KD16.7bn by the year-end. This is when Kuwait is expecting to record its first actual budget deficit of KD4.7bn in 16 years towards the end of Financial Year 2015-16.

The government has not indicated reduction of any capital expenditure, emphasizing that development projects would move ahead in 2016. Taking a look at the breakdown of developments in Kuwait’s major projects last year, and the outlook for forthcoming projects in 2016:

Oil & Gas: Despite more than 70 percent dip in oil prices since mid-2014 coupled with huge uncertainties in the global oil and gas industry, Kuwait has moved ahead with energy-related developments, and has emerged as the region’s biggest market for oil and gas projects in 2015 with KD6bn worth of project contracts awarded.

Construction: The Ministry of Health in Kuwait plans to adopt a WHO recommendation which requires minimum of 22 hospital beds for every 10,000 nationals by the year 2030. The total bed capacity is likely to touch 12,000 beds by the year 2020. The government has so far awarded KD1.5bn worth of projects on new hospital projects since the year 2008. Another KD881mn is likely to be awarded in 2016.

Power and water: The year 2016 will be a landmark year for the Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP) as it plans to award KD2bn worth of public-private partnership contracts. While the year 2015 was sluggish for this sector, with Kuwait having awarded only two major power and water projects, more projects are likely this year.

Housing and Transportation: The government is working towards offering homes for 106,000 applicants. Last year, the government revealed plans to develop the South Mutlaa City, with capacity to contain 29,000 houses.  Kuwait has already tendered KD151mn Passenger Support Building as passenger traffic is likely to increase over the coming years until the completion of main terminal. An additional KD334 million has been allocated for smaller packages in the airport expansion project, which are also due to be tendered in 2016.

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