Qatar Introduces Public-Private Partnership Law
The Qatari government recently enacted a law governing public-private partnerships (PPPs) signaling to U.S. firms access to the government of Qatar on infrastructure development opportunities.
The government of Qatar has indicated that PPPs will be used to support projects connected to the Qatar National Vision 2030 and Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup event. This initiative lays the foundation to enhance and complement the development of additional new projects in Qatar, including but not limited to the construction of new roads, tunnels, schools, telecommunications projects, hotels, and hospitals. Qatar is set to award projects with an estimated combined value of $85 billion by 2030.
In Qatar, the Minister of Commerce and Industry stated that the issuance of the PPP Law amounted to a critical step in providing a legislative framework for regulating the private sector’s contribution to the implementation of major development projects.
The new Public-Private Partnerships law (Law No. 12) and the official text was released in Arabic on the government of Qatar’s online legal portal in July 2020.
The law outlines how partnerships are regulated between the government and the private sector in Qatar, marking a major milestone for the future of PPP collaboration in the country. Under this initiative, programs will be executed as per the following provisions:
- Allocation of land through rental or usage license for development by the private sector
- Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT)
- Build-Transfer-Operate (BTO)
- Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT)
- Operations and Maintenance (OM)
In January, a PPP pilot project was launched for the construction of 45 new public schools in Qatar at a capital cost of over $1 billion, providing an additional 34,000 student seats. This pilot was significant, since it marked the first major attempt by the government of Qatar to implement a PPP model for a project outside the water and power infrastructure sub-sectors, which are handled by Qatar Public Works Authority and Kahramaa (the Electricity and Water Authority). According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, other projects the government of Qatar is working to roll out using the PPP model will involve state-of-the-art technologies and industries, such as solar energy-related projects and the construction of storage spaces in the new free zone area. This new PPP law applies across all industries and sectors.
PPP Law Stakeholders/Responsibilities
The PPP Law indicates that a public entity, such as a Ministry, identifies a project it would like to implement through a PPP model and recommends it to the Minister of Commerce and Industry for an “in principal” approval. Once the public entity has passed this step, it then prepares and develops a detailed report on the project that the Minister of the Agency question submits to the Prime Minister, together with his/her recommendations. Once the concept has gained Prime Minister approval, the Minister of the lead public entity forms a Project Committee, which oversees the developing of two main documents: the Project Policy Document and the Project Study Document. Once both documents are approved by the Prime Minister’s Office, the public entity and Project Committee will prepare and circulate a prospectus for potential bidders, which includes all project contract details.
The PPP Law provides that all tenders be published in local or international newspapers, or on their websites. The Law also requires all opportunities be posted to the unified website for government procurement in Qatar, which has not yet been created as of the date of this report.
Article 12 of the PPP Law provides that the selection of a successful bidder must be subject to the principles of transparency, free competition, and equality of opportunity and treatment. The bidder is also required to meet approved financial and technical standards.
The Prime Minister may cancel the bidding process if:
- Only one bid is submitted (or only one bid is left after excluding ineligible bids);
- All bids are accompanied by reservations or conditions that are inconsistent with the terms and conditions of the Prospectus or cannot be evaluated;
- Other cases specified in the Prospectus; or
- The public interest so requires.
The maximum length of a PPP contract is stated to be thirty (30) years. However, longer contracts are permitted, or the renewal of shorter contracts, based on the requirements of the public interest after the approval of the Prime Minister.
U.S. companies interested in further information about the PPP Law or other measures in Qatar that impact the infrastructure sector should contact Ms. Anissa Lahreche, Senior Commercial Specialist, email@example.com.