KAPP announces plans to launch public offering of 50% of equity stake in Shamal Azzour Al Oula

Public offering aims to see 50% of Shamal Azzour Al Oula’s shares owned by Kuwaiti citizens

Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP) has announced plans to launch the public offering of its 50% equity stake in Shamal Azzour Al Oula, the owner and operator of the Az-Zour North One Power and Water Plant.

Shamal Azzour Al Oula is the first company to be established as a public-private partnership (PPP) project and the first PPP to be offered for public subscription. In a statement, KAPP added that the public subscription period will open for all Kuwaiti citizens for 60 days, till November 29.

Once the transaction is completed, 50% of  Shamal Azzour Al Oula’s shares will be owned by Kuwaiti citizens (mainly depending on the final level of demand), while the rest will continue to be owned by the current shareholders (40% by a private investor represented by Azour North One Holding Company owned by a consortium comprising of Engie (formerly GDF Suez), Sumitomo Corporation, AH Al Sagar & Brothers, 5% by Kuwait Investment Authority and the remaining 5% by the Public Institution for Social Security).

The public offering is mandated by the IWPP and PPP laws, which form an integral part of an overarching governmental effort to include citizens in the ownership of megaprojects that are offered to private-sector institutional investors, the statement explained.

In addition to providing attractive investment opportunities to citizens, PPP projects empower the private sector to take the lead in growing the national non-oil economy, KAPP said.

Shamal Azzour Al Oula is the first Kuwaiti company established under the IWPP Law. The company is the owner and operator of Az-Zour North One Power and Water Plant, which is the first privately-owned gas-fired combined cycle power and water desalination plant.

Having begun commercial operations in November 2016, the facility currently supplies 10% of Kuwait’s installed power generation capacity and 20% of the country’s installed water desalination capacity.

Power and water produced by the company are entirely supplied to the national power and water grid operated by the Kuwait Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) under a 40-year long-term Energy Conversion and Water Purchase Agreement (ECWPA).

Shamal Azzour Al Oula is the first phase of Kuwait’s Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP), which is a part of MEW’s strategy to increase the country’s capacity to meet electrical and water demand over the coming years.

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