FOUR British water companies are expected to prequalify to bid for the privatisation of the Kara-chi Water & Sewerage Board in Pakistan, involving an estimated £300 million in construction work.
The firms are understood to be Anglian Water, Biwater, International Water, Thames Water and Hyder Consulting.
French firms Lyonnaise des Eaux and Gnrale des Eaux are also said to be in the line-up.
But firms are treading carefully before deciding on sending in a bid, owing to the country's political and economic instability.
The provincial government of Sind will award a 20-year concession contract in which the successful bidder would have full responsibility for the operation and management of the water and sewage system.
At present, only 40 per cent of Karachi is connected to the sewerage system and only 75 per cent is connected to the water system.
In the first five years, the capital expenditure on improving the system would be between £225 and £330 million.
The bid documents are expected to be issued in February next year and returned in June. The contract will be awarded some time after that following a period of negotiations.