Bahrain is seeking to privatize its Hidd power and water complex. Two Bahraini banks bid for the facility and the winner will enter into partnership with an international developer to run the complex and raise its capacity to 930 MW by 2005. The facility now has two 140 MW gas turbines and four 7.5 million-gallon-a-day desalination units.
The government's strategy for promoting private enterprise and expanding joint industrial projects included the preparation of a 80-hectare piece of land in the South ''Alba'' region at a cost of BD 1.5 million. The government also built a BD 7 million electricity generating station in that area.
Furthermore, in August 1999, when Texaco signed an agreement to evaluate oil and gas exploration potential, it became only the second foreign company to be involved in an energy-related project. Earlier that year, the Supreme Council decided to merge BAPCO with Bahrain national oil company, the state’s producer and distributor. A year earlier, Chevron was invited to drill for oil in the northern and western offshore areas near Saudi Arabia. Drilling will begin in 2000.
Major ProjectsIn the late 1990s, the government approved a variety of infrastructure projects, including housing projects to accommodate at least 50,000 people, expanding the sewerage system and a sewerage treatment system to recycle water for irrigation purposes. Other projects include aluminum joint ventures and a coke calcining plant.
But the biggest project is the $458 million Hidd Power and Desalination Project headed by Zurich-based Asea Brown Boveri. The plant will have a capacity of 280Mw and 30 million gallons of water a day. It is being built on a 420,000 sq. m plot of land.
FranchisingFast food franchises are highly sought after by local contacts. Many of the major food franchise companies are operating presently in Bahrain. There is also an increasing interest in non-food, service-sector franchises with proven international attractiveness. A local sponsor is required to set up a franchise in Bahrain.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )