Kuwait will launch in coming weeks an initial tender for construction of a second terminal at its international airport, a project worth around KWD700m to KWD800m (US$2.5bn-US$2.9bn), state-run news agency KUNA said on Monday.
The project should be finished by late 2016, KUNA quoted the undersecretary for the Ministry of Works, Hossam al-Tahous, as saying in an interview. He said 16 international companies had expressed interest in the project.
The first stages of the tender will include work on the design and consultancy services, Tahous said. Tenders for the second phase which will include construction should happen in the middle of next year, he said.
He said the ministry hopes that solar panels could provide some 10 percent of the terminal's energy supply.
In recent years inefficient planning and tensions between the cabinet and parliament have plagued policymaking, blocking important infrastructure and economic development projects in the OPEC member state.
Any progress on the airport terminal project will come as a welcome sign that Kuwait is working to break down hurdles for foreign investment.
In the past decade, Kuwait has attracted just US$1.5bn in foreign investment, or a mere 0.5 percent of total Gulf inflows, while Yemen attracted US$3.5bn.