Kuwait 2017 | ENERGY | COLUMN

TBY talks to Andy Biffen, CEO, Shamal Azzour Al-Oula, on the sector.

Andy Biffen

What is your evaluation of Azzour North One, Kuwait's first independent water and power project and executed in a PPP model?

Operations started in November 2016, which was the proposed day after 150 weeks of construction. We entered into operation with a new power station and still managed to have an availability that was somewhere between 96 and 98%. We were pleased with the quality of the build, the operations, and maintenance during that initial period. The outcome of the project is good, both for Kuwait and for investors. The closure of the project from preferred bidder to financial close took around two years, which perhaps reflects that this was the first project of its kind for Kuwait. The risk profile for the deal matched the requirements and expectations of international lenders.

How is this shared ownership organized in practice?

Shamal Azzour Al-Oula is a private entity. Approximately 40% is made up from the consortium of ENGIE, Sumitomo Corporation, and A.H. Al Sagar and Brothers. The remaining 60% is owned by the Kuwaiti government, with 50% for the Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects, 5% for the Kuwait Investment Authority, and 5% for the Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS).