KARACHI: The 26th Public-Private Partnership (PPP) policy board meeting held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Murad Ali Shah took decisions for expediting procedures of Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) Yellow and Blue Lines, Lyari Expressway and the establishment of 50 megawatts (MW) power plant for K-IV project. The meeting was told that Transport and Mass Transit Department (TMTD) launched BRTS-Yellow line project through an international competitive bidding (ICB) process under PPP mode. As per details, a Chinese firm and TMTD signed concession agreement for Yellow Line project on September 9, 2016. The Chinese firm tried to raise financing from Chinese banks but was unable to obtain finances from China so the project attracted delays. The PPP Act requires private party to achieve financial close within 12 months. Failure of same should be reported to PPP policy board with reasons so the board can decide whether to scrap the existing procurement process or continue with it. The board approved termination of existing procurement process under PPP mode and directed PPP unit to start fresh bidding for the project. Meanwhile, the solicitation process for Blue Line project was initiated as ICB under the PPP mode on February 12, 2018. Two bids were submitted. Both the bidders were qualified technically and financial bids were opened. However, one of private parties has been making complaints which has put project on the backburner. The board, on advice of Sindh Chief Secretary (CS) Mumtaz Shah, constituted a Complainant Redressal Committee to address grievances of bidder consortium. The board also directed PPP unit to take all decisions in time. According to details, the Malir Expressway (MEW) project was approved in 24th PPP Policy Board to proceed with investor solicitation. (two stage bidding process). The 1st stage RFP was issued on February 13, 2018. The 1st stage technical bids were received from seven bidders. The technical bids were evaluated thoroughly and based on feedback from interested parties, some changes are being proposed in the project structure. They include permission for using Malir riverbed. Lifting of construction material from Malir River Bed may be allowed for construction of embankment and structures-this may also result in desalting of River which has been banned by the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) by an order. The structure envisaged construction of a two into two lane road. However, the board decided that due to the expected increase in traffic in future years, the scope of the project should be increased to construction of three into three lanes. Furthermore, it was proposed during the meeting that start point of MEW should be extended backward 700 meters so that traffic from Korangi and DHA Phase VII and VIII can approach MEW directly without crowding Karachi Port Trust (KPT) interchange. The policy board approved amendments in RFP for second stage bidding on the condition of honoring SCP’s directives. The Greater Karachi Sewerage Plan (S-III) is being undertaken to address sewage disposal problems. A plant of 77 million gallon per day (MGD) is already operational which can be used as first tertiary treatment plant. The proposed tertiary treatment plant will employ different treatment processes for different end use of the effluent. Treated water can be used for multiple purposes. The policy board approved to hire transaction advisors and to carry out detailed feasibility study for project. The Dhabeji Pumping Complex serves as backbone for Karachi’s water supply. It comprises of six pump houses, in which four pump houses in Complex are operating beyond their useful lives and require heavy financial outlay to meet operation and management (O&M) needs. Outlived equipment along with frequent power breakdown has reduced pumping capacity of entire complex by 14 percent to 450 MCGD from installed capacity of 520 MCGD. The project entails need to replace pumps, upgrade the complex capacity, and maintain it. It is expected that successful execution of project would not only result in additional 70MGD water being supplied to Karachi, but will also yield additional revenue of Rs 3.6 billion (bn) per annum to Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB). The board approved hiring of technical and financial advisors for carrying out feasibility study for upgradation and development and maintenance of the pumping complex. In order to meet power requirement for K-IV Phase-I, 50 MW power supply is required. For smooth operation of water supply, power complex should be able to provide uninterrupted power supply of 50 MW at competitive rates. Although detailed technical and financial feasibility is currently underway, it is expected that most of generation will be based on thermal sources.The policy board decided to coordinate with federal government for seeking approval for required gas allocation at domestic gas pricing structure for 50 MW K-IV project. Sindh ministers, Saeed Ghani, Imtiaz Shaikh, Nasir Shah, CM AdvisorMurtazaWahab, member Sindh assembly Ghulam QadirChandio, AwaisQasir Shah, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, relevant provincial secretaries, head of PPP unit Khalid Shaikh and others attended the meeting. Published in Daily Times, October 11th 2018.