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MEED
October 2005

View all stories from this issue.

  • A critical year for Bahrain and its National Assembly

    One of the most important periods in the history of Bahrain since full independence in August 1971 got under way at the start of this month, with the opening of the fourth and final session of the National Assembly's first term. It sets the scene for an intense period of debate about the direction taken since the accession of King Hamad al-Khalifa in March 1999.
  • A new bourse is born

    The date of Monday 26 September 2005 will go down in the history of Middle East capital markets, not for another initial public offering (IPO) several hundred times oversubscribed - these have become almost de rigueur - but for the launch of an entirely new bourse, aimed at an international audience - the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX).
  • A race against time

    Nearly three decades ago, Alan Kay - the inventor of the laptop computer and architect of the modern Windows system - said: 'The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Smart people with reasonable funding can do just about everything that doesn't violate many of Newton's laws.'
  • Abadan refinery bidders seek extension

  • ABB homes in on Fujairah substation

    Europe's ABBhas been awarded the turnkey contract to build the 400-kV gas insulated switchgear (GIS) substation at Qidfa to serve the Fujairah power and desalination complex. The contract, placed by Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA), is valued at just under AED 300 million ($81.7 million). Other bidders for the contract were Germany's Siemens, TMT & DI Corporationof Japan and Austria's VA Tech T&D. The consultant is Germany's
  • ABB wins power plant renovation work

    Europe's ABBannounced on 5 October the award of a contract, worth $60 million, to modernise the Doha West power and desalination plant. Under the terms of the contract, ABB will extend the plant's lifespan by replacing old instrumentation and control systems with its control technologies, including an Optimax plant performance package to help monitor and optimise fuel consumption, equipment operation and maintenance. The plant, one of the largest in the state, was commissioned in 197
  • ABB/Daelim head for Q-Chem II award

    The team of US-based ABB Lummus Globaland South Korea's Daelim Industrial Companyhas been selected for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build the Qatar Chemical Company II (Q-Chem II)downstream units at Mesaieed.
  • Abbas returns from Washington with little to show

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas left Washington on 21 October empty-handed, according to US analysts. 'The administration seems like it's preoccupied with a lot of other issues,' said David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. 'I think their basic view is, when you, the Palestinians, show that you're doing it, we'll get involved. If not we're not going to invest a lot of political capital.' Abbas returns 'with a symbolic victory but his poc
  • Abbas willing to tackle Palestinian arms in Lebanon

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on 18 October that he would hold talks about Palestinian weapons in Lebanon. Palestinians there should remember they are guests and not above the law, he said. He drew a distinction between weapons held in and outside refugee camps, saying weapons outside threatened Lebanese security and that there would be further discussions about arms inside the camps. UN Security Council resolution 1559 calls for all militias in Lebanon to disarm.
  • ABCIB starts marketing Investment Dar sukuk

    ABC Islamic Bank (ACBIC)held beauty parades in early July for the $50 million musharaka sukuk issued by Kuwait-based Islamic finance and investment company Investment Dar. Roadshows were held in Bahrain on 6 July and 7 July in Dubai. Investment Darand its major shareholder, Kuwait's EFAD Holding,are the promoters of the estimated $3,500 million Oqyana development on the World development in Dubai (MEED 15:4:05).
  • ABU DHABI AIRPORT: Taxiing for take-off

    Aviation in Abu Dhabi has a colourful history. In 1929, the British Royal Air Force used stretches of salt flats on the capital's coastal shores as landing strips to refuel its seaplanes. The discovery of oil and subsequent exploration in the 1950s saw the creation of an aerodrome with discarded oil drums marking the runway. The capital's first international airport at Al-Bateen was eventually closed down due to the city's rapid growth. And in 1982, the capital's existing airport opened its door
  • Abu Dhabi plays four in midfield

    The Supervision Committee for the Expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport (Scadia) has received proposals from four companies for the midfield terminal complex on the first phase of the estimated $6,800 million redevelopment of Abu Dhabi airport.
  • Abu Dhabi plays four in midfield

    The Supervision Committee for the Expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport (Scadia) has received proposals from four companies for the midfield terminal complex on the first phase of the estimated $6,800 million redevelopment of Abu Dhabi airport.
  • Abu Dhabi prepares to rock the vote

    In the Middle East, chambers of commerce matter. In most countries, every registered company is required to join. Chambers manage relations between local firms and their foreign counterparts. They are the principal channel for feeding advice and complaints from business to government.
  • ACC wins Marriott Hotel refurbishment job

    Lebanon's Arabian Construction Company (ACC)in mid-October was selected by Egyptian General Company for Tourism & Hotels to carry out refurbishment of the Cairo Marriott Hotel and Omar Khayyam Casino complex. Under the £E 167 million ($29 million) contract, ACC will strip out and remove all old finishings in rooms, baths and corridors, and carry out all related mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) works. ACC will also carry out the entire refurbishment and all related MEP works.
  • ACC wins Marriott Hotel refurbishment job

    Lebanon's Arabian Construction Company (ACC)in mid-October was selected by Egyptian General Company for Tourism & Hotels to carry out refurbishment of the Cairo Marriott Hotel and Omar Khayyam Casino complex. Under the £E 167 million ($29 million) contract, ACC will strip out and remove all old finishings in rooms, baths and corridors, and carry out all related mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) works. ACC will also carry out the entire refurbishment and all related MEP works.
  • ADCB takes mega loan

    Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB)has signed a $1,000 million syndicated loan facility with a group of 37 banks. The loan was increased in size from $750 million due to oversubscription (MEED 9:9:05).
  • ADCCI opens the board to women and foreigners

    Elections for the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ADCCI) board of directors will be held of 5 December. Fifteen members will be elected, and for the first time two positions on the board will be available to expatriates. About 25 per cent of ADCCI's 48,000 members are expatriates. The remaining six board members, who for the first time will include two women, will be directly appointed by emiri decree. The term for all board members is four years. 'The introduction of women and ex
  • Adgas seeks new filters

    Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Company (Adgas)has invited companies to submit technical and commercial bids by 10 October for an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to upgrade filtration systems and related facilities for three liquefied natural gas (LNG) trains. Prospective bidders for the $10 million-15 million contract include the US/Canadian VECO, Paris-based Technip, Milan-based Sicon Oil & Gas, the UK?s Costain Oil, Gas &
  • ADTA and Al-Jaber sign JV

    Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with the local Al-Jaber Groupto develop hotel complex. Estimated to cost AED 600 million ($163 million), the project will be located between the Maqta and Mussafah bridges and involves the construction of a 230-room hotel, chalets, restaurants, swimming pool, meeting facilities and 228 furnished apartments. It is understood that Hong Kong's Shangri-la Hotels & Resorts has been selected as the ope
  • ADTA and Al-Jaber sign JV

    Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with the local Al-Jaber Groupto develop hotel complex. Estimated to cost AED 600 million ($163 million), the project will be located between the Maqta and Mussafah bridges and involves the construction of a 230-room hotel, chalets, restaurants, swimming pool, meeting facilities and 228 furnished apartments. It is understood that Hong Kong's Shangri-la Hotels & Resorts has been selected as the ope
  • Ahmadinejad condemned for Israel speech

    Recently installed hardline Iranian President Ahmadinejad has drawn widespread condemnation for a speech delivered on 26 October calling for Israel to be 'wiped off the map'. The remarks were made at a conference in Tehran called 'A World Without Zionism'.Ahmadinejad also condemned Arab states officially acknowledging Israel's existence. 'Anyone who signs a treaty which recognises the entity of Israel means he has signed the surrender of the Islamic world,' he declared, warni
  • Ahmadinejad defends call for destruction of Israel

    Iran's President Ahmadinejad has responded defiantly to widespread international condemnation of his call on 27 October for Israel to be 'wiped off the map,' defending the remark as the will of the Iranian people.Attending an anti-Israel rally in Tehran on 28 October, Ahmadinejad said his remarks were 'just' and said the criticism did not 'have any validity'. Joining the protest, Ahmadinejad said: 'My words were the Iranian nation's words.' His initial comment
  • Ahmadinejad refutes oil output threats

    President Ahmadinejad denied on 1 October reports that Tehran would withhold oil sales if the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) referred it to the UN for sanctions. Ahmadinejad said he did not speak to the UAE-based Khaleej Times, which quoted him as saying: 'We will respond in many ways, for example by holding back oil sales.' The editor of the paper stood by the story. Member states of the IAEA voted at the end of September to pass a resolution condemning Iran for breaches of the
  • Aker/Sinopec sign up for YanSab

    Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) formally awarded in mid-September the contract to the Norwegian/Chinese joint venture of AkerKvaernerand Sinopecto build two linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) and polypropylene (PP) units on the Yanbu National Petrochemicals Company (YanSab)petrochemicals complex. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract, worth more than $700 million, will also include the construction of the sh
  • Al-Babtain awarded Aramco contract

    Saudi Aramco has awarded a fabrication contract to Riyadh-based Al-Babtain Power & Telecommunication Company covering the supply of power distribution poles. Worth SR 21 million ($5.6 million), the turnkey contract will cover the supply of galvanised steel distribution poles, which are due for delivery by mid-2006. Al-Babtain plans to manufacture the poles at its recently opened facility in Riyadh.
  • Albaraka to raise capital for expansion plans

    Albaraka Banking Group (ABG), the parent group for the nine Islamic banking subsidiaries of Saudi Arabia's Dallah Albaraka Group, is planning to increase its capital by about $600 million to $1,100 million through a private placement and an initial public offering (IPO). The funds raised will be used to fund further international expansion.
  • Alcatel to roll out 3G solution for Q-Tel

    France's Alcatelhas announced the award of a contract to deploy part of its third-generation (3G) and universal mobile telecommunications system (UMTS) radio network for Qatar Telecom (Q-Tel). Under the terms of the contract, Alcatel will provide Q-Tel with its Evolium 3G/UMTS radio access solution developed by Evolium SAS, a joint venture of Alcatel and Japan's Fujitsu. The solution will be deployed through the upgrade of the existing GSM and gene
  • ALDAR plans mega development

    Abu Dhabi-based ALDAR Propertieshas launched the tendering process for a major redevelopment of Mina Zayed port. The mixed-use residential project will potentially be larger than its AED 54,000 million ($14,700 million) Al-Raha beach development (MEED 23:9:05).
  • ALDAR plans mega development

    Abu Dhabi-based ALDAR Propertieshas launched the tendering process for a major redevelopment of Mina Zayed port. The mixed-use residential project will potentially be larger than its AED 54,000 million ($14,700 million) Al-Raha beach development (MEED 23:9:05).
  • Algiers set to modernise Skikda, Arzew complexes

    The UK's Stone & Webster, part of the US-based Shaw Group, is due to start work in late October on the 42-month project management services (PMS) contract for the rehabilitation, modernisation and expansion of the Skikda ethylene and aromatics complex and the Arzew methanol and resin complex. The company was awarded the contract in June by Entreprise Nationale d'Industrie Petrochimique (ENIP), the petrochemicals arm of state energy company Sonatrach.
  • Al-Hamed sells Austrian ready-mix company

    The local Al-Hamed Development & Constructionhas sold Austrian Arabian Ready Mix Concreteto the local Arab Technical Construction Company (ATCC)and its subsidiary Arabtec Construction. The sale will provide Al-Hamed with a much-needed injection of cash. In September several thousand of its labourers staged a high-profile demonstration on Sheikh Zayed highway to demand unpaid wages. Austrian Arabian has daily production capacity of about 3,000 cubic
  • Al-Hamed sells Austrian ready-mix company

    The local Al-Hamed Development & Constructionhas sold Austrian Arabian Ready Mix Concreteto the local Arab Technical Construction Company (ATCC)and its subsidiary Arabtec Construction. The sale will provide Al-Hamed with a much-needed injection of cash. In September several thousand of its labourers staged a high-profile demonstration on Sheikh Zayed highway to demand unpaid wages. Austrian Arabian has daily production capacity of about 3,000 cubic
  • Al-Hani wins library job

    The local Al-Hani Construction & Trading Company signed in late September the KD 12.8 million ($42 million) contract for the construction of the new national library on Arabian Gulf street. Mobilisation will start in November. Contract duration is 900 days. Al-Hani was widely expected to win the work after submitting the low bid in April. The project calls for the construction of a four-storey building and car park with a built-up area of 20,000 square metres. There will also be an a
  • Al-Hani wins library job

    The local Al-Hani Construction & Trading Company signed in late September the KD 12.8 million ($42 million) contract for the construction of the new national library on Arabian Gulf street. Mobilisation will start in November. Contract duration is 900 days. Al-Hani was widely expected to win the work after submitting the low bid in April. The project calls for the construction of a four-storey building and car park with a built-up area of 20,000 square metres. There will also be an a
  • Aljaber wins cracker site job

    The local Aljaber Engineeringhas been awarded the site preparation and fencing package on the Ras Laffan olefins project. The estimated $7 million contract will take about six months to complete. It was placed by Paris-based Technip, the main contractor on the 1.3 million-tonne-a-year cracker project (MEED 22:4:05).
  • Al-Khaleej development company: New kid on the blocks

    Real estate companies don't need to be located in attractive and iconic buildings to inspire confidence. But it certainly helps. Al-Khaleej Development Company (Tameer), based out of the landmark blue-glass Seef Tower in the eponymous district of Manama, is a young company. However, its plans both in the kingdom and abroad are ambitious.
  • All eyes on Khurais field development

    About 22 companies, including several newcomers and major international contractors, submitted prequalifications to Saudi Aramco by 8 October for the five main construction packages on the onshore Khurais crude increment programme. The packages cover engineering, design, procurement and construction of facilities to deliver 1.2 million-1.32 million barrels a day (b/d) of new crude capacity (MEED 5:8:05).
  • All in for Sohar berth work

    All the prequalification applicants are understood to have been shortlisted for the phase 3 berth work at Sohar Industrial Port. Thirteen companies applied to prequalify in May. A tender is expected imminently. The scope of works covers berths eight-14 and includes the deepening of existing berths and of the approach channel to 18 metres from 16 metres, in addition to dredging in preparation for a bulk liquids berth and a 450-metre quay wall. The Transport & Communications Ministry is the client
  • All in for Sohar berth work

    All the prequalification applicants are understood to have been shortlisted for the phase 3 berth work at Sohar Industrial Port. Thirteen companies applied to prequalify in May. A tender is expected imminently. The scope of works covers berths eight-14 and includes the deepening of existing berths and of the approach channel to 18 metres from 16 metres, in addition to dredging in preparation for a bulk liquids berth and a 450-metre quay wall. The Transport & Communications Ministry is the client
  • Al-Meraikhi signs up for uni

    The local Al-Meraikhi General Contractinghas received a letter of intent for the estimated AED 200 million ($54 million) contract for the phase 1 expansion of the Abu Dhabi University campus at Khalifa City. Work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2006 (MEED 26:8:05). The three-phase project calls for the construction of two new colleges, auditoriums, laboratories and leisure facilities covering about 370,000 square metres. The first phase will cater for 5,000 students.
  • Al-Meraikhi signs up for uni

    The local Al-Meraikhi General Contractinghas received a letter of intent for the estimated AED 200 million ($54 million) contract for the phase 1 expansion of the Abu Dhabi University campus at Khalifa City. Work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2006 (MEED 26:8:05). The three-phase project calls for the construction of two new colleges, auditoriums, laboratories and leisure facilities covering about 370,000 square metres. The first phase will cater for 5,000 students.
  • Al-Muhairy bids low for capital roads

    Abu Dhabi Municipalities & Agriculture Department (ADMAD) received bids in late September from at least six companies for the contract to build a new road between Banyas and Hilla in the capital. The local Al-Muhairy General Contracting Companyhas submitted a low bid of AED 184 million ($54 million).The 18-month contract calls for the construction of an 18.5-kilometre road with two lanes on each side,one interchange and associated road works.
  • Al-Muhairy bids low for capital roads

    Abu Dhabi Municipalities & Agriculture Department (ADMAD) received bids in late September from at least six companies for the contract to build a new road between Banyas and Hilla in the capital. The local Al-Muhairy General Contracting Companyhas submitted a low bid of AED 184 million ($54 million).The 18-month contract calls for the construction of an 18.5-kilometre road with two lanes on each side,one interchange and associated road works.
  • Al-Nasser binds steel deal

    Abu Dhabi-based Al-Nasser Industrial Enterprisesis planning to invest $300 million in the construction of a steel complex in the capital's Mussafah industrial city. The plant will have capacity of 450,000 tonnes a year and comprise a direct reduction iron (DRI) plant and a steel billet manufacturing unit. Covering an area of about 200,000 square metres, the plant is expected to be operational by 2007. Mexico's HYL and Italy's Danieli & Company are the technol
  • Al-Qaeda letter calls for political inclusion

    Al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri has urged Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to focus on political as well as military activity in a letter released by US intelligence officials on 11 October. 'I stress again to you and all your brothers the need to direct the political action equally with the military action,' he wrote. The 12-page letter was released by the office of the Director of US intelligence John Negroponte. 'It is imperative that, in addition to force, there
  • Al-Qaeda split over civilian attacks

    Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said on 7 October that civilians are legitimate targets if they are not Muslims. 'Islam does not differentiate between civilians and military but rather distinguishes between Muslims and infidels,' Al-Zarqawi said in an audio message posted on the internet. 'Muslim blood must be spared ; but it is permissible to spill infidel blood.' Al-Zarqawi has declared war on the Shia population, denouncing them as heretics. The authenticity of the tape was
  • Al-Shafar starts on Tecom project

    The local Al-Shafar General Transport & Contracting Companyhas started work on an AED 400 million ($108 million) 45-storey tower in Dubai Technology, e-Commerce & Media Free Zone (Tecom). The local Middle East Foundationscarried out the enabling works, piling, shoring, excavation and dewatering. The local National Engineering Bureau (NEB)is the consultant.
  • Al-Shafar starts on Tecom project

    The local Al-Shafar General Transport & Contracting Companyhas started work on an AED 400 million ($108 million) 45-storey tower in Dubai Technology, e-Commerce & Media Free Zone (Tecom). The local Middle East Foundationscarried out the enabling works, piling, shoring, excavation and dewatering. The local National Engineering Bureau (NEB)is the consultant.
  • Alstom closes in on power island

    France's Alstomis understood to have entered into contract negotiations with Sohar Aluminium Company (SAC), for the estimated $450 million-460 million contract to build the captive power island serving the plant. Alstom bid on the basis of an 800-MW plant, while its closest competitor, South Korea's Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Company, offered a 750-MW facility. The consultant on the power island is the UK's Mott MacDonald; SAC is a join
  • ALUMINIUM: Rolling out

    When chief executive Bruce Hall moved on from Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) at the end of June, he left the company in fine fettle. Not only was a fifth potline brought on stream on schedule and commissioned in world record time just before his departure, but the 300,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of additional capacity hit the market at a perfect time, with prices sky high.
  • Amiantit wins pipe supply contracts

    Saudi Arabian Amiantit Companyhas been awarded contracts, totalling $68 million, to supply its fibreglass pipe for oil and gas and petrochemical projects. The two largest of the contracts, which together are worth $50 million, cover the supply and installation of four-metre-diameter fibreglass pipes for seawater cooling plants to serve the Jubail-based Eastern Petrochemical Company (Sharq) and Yanbu National Petrochemicals Company (YanSab) petrochemical complexes.
  • Amlak opens rights issue

    Amlak Finance, the home finance subsidiary of Dubai-based developer Emaar Properties opened its 1:1 rights issue on 15 September. New shares are being offered at a par value of AED 1 ($0.27) with no premium. The issue, which closes on 26 September, is aimed at increasing Amlak's capital to AED 1,500 million ($409 million) from AED 750,000 ($204 million - MEED 1:7:05).
  • AMOC IPO closes

    Shares in Alexandria Mineral Oils Company (AMOC) started trading at the Cairo & Alexandria Stock Exchanges (CASE) on 28 September following the successful closure of the company's initial public offering (IPO) four days earlier. The transaction, which was oversubscribed 31 times, closed early after being open for subscription for 10 days. AMOC offered 20 per cent of its 86.1 million shares at a price between £E 45 ($7.90) and £E 50 ($8.70) a share, in two equal tranches. Under the fi
  • AMOC mulls upgrade options

    Alexandria Mineral Oils Company (AMOC) has received proposals from four international companies interested in carrying out a feasibility study on maximising production at Egypt's smallest refinery. The companies that are understood to have submitted offers in late September for the contract are: Austria's Poerner Ingenieurgesellschaft; Paris-based Technip; US-based Foster Wheeler; and the US' UOP. Industry sources say a contract award is exp
  • An agenda for change

    Ziad Bahaa el-Din has a PhD from London University, 10 years' experience in private business and the mandate to smash the barriers to private investment in Egypt. He also travels light in the new environment where political conformism is no longer essential. El-Din is young (he was born in 1964) and is the first GAFI chairman not to be a member of the ruling National Democratic Party.
  • APC plans salt ponds expansion

    Interested companies have until 21 November to submit applications for prequalification for the contract to upgrade the existing salt and carnallite ponds at Ghor al-Safi, 130 kilometres south of Amman, for Arab Potash Company (APC). The scope of works is divided into civil, mechanical and electrical sections. The plan is to add 12 square kilometres of pond area to existing dykes with heights of three-four metres and eight kilometres in length and build transfer channels with a total
  • Aperto deploys wireless solution for Mobily

    The US' ApertoNetworkshas been selected to deploy its PacketWave broadband wireless system for the kingdom's second GSM operator Mobily. Initially to be installed in the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Dhahran and Al-Khobar, the 2.5-GHz wireless network will enhance the network's data connectivity and service delivery (MEED 13:8:05).
  • Approval nears for zinc project

    UK-based ZincOxis close to finalising an agreement with the Ministry of Oil & Mineral Resources to exploit the Jabali zinc deposit, 110 kilometres northeast of Sanaa. A consortium led by ZincOx completed a feasibility study into the project in March, which estimated potential production at 800,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of ore and 70,000 t/y of zinc oxide over a mine life of 12 years.
  • Arabi wins DZ gathering centre job

    Kuwait's Arabi Enertechhas been awarded a KD 7.8 million ($27 million) contract to upgrade South Ghudair gathering centre in the Divided Zone (DZ). Under the terms of the 20-month contract, Arabi will modernise the existing facility to increase its crude handling capacity by up to 10,000 barrels a day. The client is DZ onshore operator Saudi Arabian Texaco/ Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) joint operations. Arabi is also low bidder at KD 4.5 million ($15.5 million) fo
  • Aramco plans major offshore work

    About six groups of fabricators are preparing to submit technical and commercial bids by 31 October to Saudi Aramco for two offshore lump-sum turnkey (LSTK) contracts covering the installation of production facilities and pipelines. Both contracts are worth a total of $300 million-350 million.
  • Arcapita invests in deep south

    Bahrain-based Arcapita, the renamed First Islamic Investment Bank, has announced that it has acquired a majority stake in US-based Falcon Gas Storage Company. The total value of the transaction was $100 million. Falcon - which owns, develops, and operates natural gas storage facilities in the southern US states of Texas and Alabama - is undergoing two major expansions and is expected to soon start development of a third facility.
  • Arrangers selected for Lagoon City sukuk

    Al-Ahlia Gulf Holding Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Al-Ahlia Investments Company, has mandated Kuwait Finance House(KFH), Liquidity Management Centre (LMC)and Muthanna Investment Companyto arrange a $100 million musharaka sukuk issue. The funds raised will be used to fund the Lagoon City residential and commercial portion of the Al-Khiran Pearl City development.
  • Arzew helium up in air

    The 27 September bid deadline for the estimated $80 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to develop a 600 million-cubic-feet-a-year helium plant at Arzew has been delayed by three months in order to allow more time for companies to prepare bids. No specific date has been announced, but it is understood that bids will be due by the end of December. Prospective bidders are the US' Air Products & Chemicals, Lindeof Germany and France's Air
  • Asad confident of staying power

  • Asad must go, says Tel Aviv

    It is in the interest of the whole world to have regime change in Damascus, said Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs Silvan Shalom on 14 October. 'Syria is implicated up to its neck in terrorism, a terrorism that is directed not just against Israel but against coalition forces in Iraq,' he said. 'It is in the interest of the entire world that there is another state in Syria, one that is freer and more democratic.''The future will tell us if this regime is close to the end or
  • Ashghal: The upgrade begins

    Not many public works bodies have a mascot. But in late September, the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) unveiled Shaghool, a smiling cartoon character wearing dungarees and a hard hat. Accompanied by the release of Ashghal's updated five-year projects plan and the relaunch of its website, Shaghool's debut was another aspect of Ashghal's marketing campaign. The intended message was clear: this is a user-friendly organisation.
  • Attacks escalate in referendum run-up

    More than 30 people were killed in a suicide attack on 12 October at an army recruitment centre in Tal Afar. It was the second suicide assault in two days in the northwestern town, where US-led forces recently completed their largest anti-insurgency operation. More than 50 people were killed in the combined attacks. Another suicide bomber attacked Minister of State for Provinces Saad Naif al-Hardan's convoy in Baghdad. Al-Hardan was not in his vehicle and escaped the attack, which wounded s
  • AU hostages released in Darfur

    Rebels in the Darfur region of Sudan released on 10 October all 38 African Union (AU) monitors kidnapped the day before. The AU blamed a splinter group from the Justice & Equity Movement (JEM) for the abductions and said that members of the multi-national ceasefire monitoring team were kidnapped in Tine on the Chad border. The rescue team was also abducted. The faction denied the claim although it has a base near Tine. 'We want the AU to leave and we have warned them not to travel to our ar
  • Award imminent for major signalling work

    A joint venture of Germany's Siemensand the local Nour Communications Companyis understood to have been selected for the contract to install a new signalling system and a GSM railway (GSM-R) communications network along the existing Riyadh-Dammam freight and passenger lines. The client, the Saudi Railways Organisation (SRO), is expected to make a formal award soon.
  • Award nears for Novus platform scheme

    Technical and financial clarification meetings are due to be completed by mid-October for the contract to carry out front-end engineering and design (FEED) and detailed engineering to fabricate an unmanned wellhead platform at the offshore West Bukha gas field off the Musandam peninsula. Four companies - Australia's WorleyParsons, the UK's Mott MacDonald, Tebodin Middle East, part of Tebodin of the Netherlands, and Switzerland-based Electro
  • Award nears on Fujairah 400-kV substation

    An award is imminent for the turnkey contract to build the 400-kV gas-insulated switchgear substation at Qidfa, after Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) opened commercial bids from the four bidders. Contractors were requested to submit two separate prices covering ABB and Alcatel manufactured telecommunications equipment. In terms of price, Europe's ABB was the low bidder on both options quoting AED 285 million ($77.6 million) and AED 290 million ($79 million), followed by Germany's
  • Baathist arrested, Al-Qaeda leader killed

    Iraqi forces have arrested the nephew of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein on suspicion of financing the insurgency, national security adviser Muwaffaq al-Rubaie said on 20 October. Yasser Sabawi was arrested on 19 October as the trial of Saddam got under way. 'He is one of the people who fund terrorism and we believe there is strong evidence that he is one of the channels that brings in funds used to finance the terrorist operations in the north and the northeast of the country,' Al-Rubai
  • Baghdad and Rome agree debt deal

    The Finance Ministry has announced that it had agreed a deal to write off about 80 per cent of its estimated $2,400 million debt to the Italian government. The agreement is the third to be signed by a Paris Club member following similar deals struck with the US and Canada in 2004. Under the agreement, Rome will reduce the debt burden in three phases. The first phase will see $900 million cancelled immediately. The second tranche will be written off once Baghdad signs a formal stand-by arrangemen
  • Baghdad condemned for moving goalposts

    The constitutional referendum nears as the UN rejects last-minute rule changes from the Transitional National Assembly
  • Baghdad moves ahead with dam projects

    The Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) is stepping up plans to build and rehabilitate dams across the country with consultants working on several projects, bids being evaluated and tenders due out imminently. The programme aims to improve irrigation and increase power generating capacity.
  • Baghdad reins in minister

    Iraq's Foreign Affairs Minister Hoshyar Zebari sought to distance Baghdad on 3 October from remarks made by Interior Minister Bayan Jabar that were critical of Saudi Arabia. Zebari said that the Interior Ministry had no say over foreign policy issues and apologised for Jabar's 'regrettable and inappropriate' comments. Zebari said Jabar was not speaking in an official capacity when he described Saudi Prince Faisal as a 'bedouin on a camel'. Prince Faisal said in September that Iraq appears t
  • Baghdad searches for investors for Basra Grand Port

    The Transport Ministry has invited local and international companies interested in investing in the construction of a greenfield deepwater port and harbour near Basra to submit expressions of interest (EoIs) by 5 November. The project will be divided into three phases to be completed by 2015.
  • Bahwan bids low for TV studios

    The local Bahwan Contracting Companyis low bidder at RO 13.5 million ($34.5 million) for the contract to build a new television studios complex at Madinat al-Alam in Muscat for the Information Ministry. Bahwan's bid was 0.6 per cent lower than the next lowest offer of RO 13.6 million ($34.7 million) from the UK/local Carillion Alawi. The other bidders are the local/UK OHI Douglasand the local MEFA. The duration of the contract is 30 months and the
  • Bahwan bids low for TV studios

    The local Bahwan Contracting Companyis low bidder at RO 13.5 million ($34.5 million) for the contract to build a new television studios complex at Madinat al-Alam in Muscat for the Information Ministry. Bahwan's bid was 0.6 per cent lower than the next lowest offer of RO 13.6 million ($34.7 million) from the UK/local Carillion Alawi. The other bidders are the local/UK OHI Douglasand the local MEFA. The duration of the contract is 30 months and the
  • Bakhtar/Tecnimont negotiate swing plants

    Bakhtar Petrochemical Company (BPC)has moved to direct negotiations with Italy's Tecnimontand the local Narganfor two swing high-density polyethylene/low-density polyethylene (HDPE/LDPE) plants in western Iran. BPC originally planned to retender the projects because the two other bidders withdrew at the last moment, but later decided it could not afford the extra four-five-month delay this would involve (MEED 16:9:05).
  • Banader, Nass ready IPOs

    The local Nass Corporationwill launch its initial public offering (IPO) on 9 October, the company announced in late September. Subscription to the 50 million shares - 25 per cent of the firm's capital - will be open until 30 October and all GCC nationals will be eligible to apply.
  • Bandar to head new National Security Council

    Former ambassador to the US Prince Bandar bin Sultan will head the newly created National Security Council (NSC), Riyadh announced on 16 October. Bandar will be the NSC secretary-general, which will carry ministerial rank. The new security agency will participate in Riyadh's ongoing counter-terrorism strategy devised by the Majlis al-Shoura (consultative council), Regional Councils and Naif University of Security Sciences.
  • Bank meetings held on DEWA advisory

    Bank meetings were held in late September with the shortlisted bidders for the mandate to advise Dubai Water & Electricity Authority (DEWA) on its future funding requirements. They include Citigroup, Emirates Bank Group and HSBC. According to the terms of reference, the selected bank will be responsible for advising on the most appropriate method of financing of projects worth in excess of AED 5,000 million ($1,360 million) up to 2012, with particular focus on the next tw
  • Bank Muscat GDRs listed

    Bank Muscat's global depository receipts (GDRs) have been listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), following the closure of the subscription period. Due to heavy demand, the bank exercised the option of increasing the size of the issue to $163 million from $149 million. A total of 6,878,765 newly issued ordinary shares were offered at a price of $23.75 each. Bank Muscat becomes the first GCC bank to be listed on the LSE. Citigroup acted as global co-ordinator and sole bookrunner (MEED 19:8:05)
  • Bank Muscat wins solid waste advisory

    The team led by Bank Muscathas been awarded the financial advisory mandate on the development of a national solid waste management strategy, having submitted the lowest bid for the contract in June. The work entails preparing a masterplan covering management of all types of waste not dealt with by the sewerage system and advising on the development of legislation outsourcing its handling to the private sector (MEED 24:6:05).
  • Banks settle with AFG

    Bank Muscathas reached an agreement with the Habroud Company, part of the local Ahmed Farid Group (AFG), on the restructuring of non-performing loans (NPLs) owed to the bank, while National Bank of Oman (NBO)has reached a conditional agreement and is in the final stages of negotiations. Ahmed Farid owns both the Hyatt Regency and Radisson hotels in the sultanate and is understood to be close to launching a new chain of three-four luxury hotels, promptin
  • Bauer awarded first Landmark contract

    Germany's Bauer has been awarded the estimated AED 50 million ($14 million) excavation, dewatering and piling contract for the Landmark Tower project in Abu Dhabi. The contract involves digging a diaphragm wall for a four-level basement, and the installation of tension and compression piles. The tower will be about 320 metres high and built on the capital's corniche. US-based Cesar Pelli & Associatesis the architect, the UK's EC Harrisis the project manager an
  • Bauer awarded first Landmark contract

    Germany's Bauer has been awarded the estimated AED 50 million ($14 million) excavation, dewatering and piling contract for the Landmark Tower project in Abu Dhabi. The contract involves digging a diaphragm wall for a four-level basement, and the installation of tension and compression piles. The tower will be about 320 metres high and built on the capital's corniche. US-based Cesar Pelli & Associatesis the architect, the UK's EC Harrisis the project manager an
  • BBC to launch Arabic-language channel

    The BBC World Service announced on 25 October plans to launch a new Arabic television channel by 2007. The new channel will initially broadcast for 12 hours a day. 'BBC World Service is already the most successful, trusted and respected voice in the Middle East, with more than 60 years' experience in the Arabic language on radio and more recently online,' said BBC World Service director Nigel Chapman. It will be funded by the closure of 10 foreign language services and is par
  • Bechtel studies line 6

    The US' Bechtelis understood to have been asked to submit a feasibility study by November into the possibility of adding a sixth potline at Aluminium Bahrain (Alba). Bechtel was the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contractor on the $1,300 million potline 5 expansion at Alba. Potline 6, the last possible line at the existing site, would have the same 300,000-tonne-a-year capacity as potline 5, which was commissioned in May (MEED 20:5:05).
  • Bechtel, KBR in for Doha port EPCM

    Two US companies - Bechtel and Kellogg Brown & Root- submitted on 25 September technical and commercial bids for the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract on the new Doha port project. The client, the Higher Committee for the Co-ordination & Pursuance Executive Council, is expected to make an award in November (MEED 19:8:05).
  • Bechtel, KBR in for Doha port EPCM

    Two US companies - Bechtel and Kellogg Brown & Root- submitted on 25 September technical and commercial bids for the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract on the new Doha port project. The client, the Higher Committee for the Co-ordination & Pursuance Executive Council, is expected to make an award in November (MEED 19:8:05).
  • Beirut charges brothers over Hariri murder

    Beirut charged two men on 26 October suspected of playing a role in the assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri, less than a week after they were named in a UN report into the murder.The report, cited both Ahmad Abdel-Al - a member of a pro-Syrian Islamic militant group - and his brother Mahmoud Abdel-Al, for their suspected involvement.
  • Beirut makes first moves after UN Hariri report

    The Lebanese authorities on 23 October arrested a member of a local pro-Syrian Islamic group in connection with the assassination in February of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri. The arrest comes three days after the release of a UN report into the murder, which claims that Mahmoud Abdul Al phoned Lebanese President Lahoud minutes before the bomb attack. Abdul Al is later alleged to have contacted one of four pro-Syrian Lebanese generals who have already been arrested in co
  • Beirut pursues Syrian witness

    Beirut has charged a Syrian witness in connection with the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, judicial sources said on 18 October. Mohammed Zuhair al-Siddiq is being held in France for indirect involvement in the bombing that killed Hariri and for misleading the UN probe into his murder. He is charged with murder, attempted murder and carrying out a terrorist act. Beirut has requested Al-Siddiq's extradition and believes he was a leading witness in the UN investig
  • Beirut rejects UN report calling for militias to disarm

    Lebanese Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said on 27 October that Beirut would deal with armed groups such as Hezbollah through national dialogue. Ghazi's comments come in response to the publication of a UN report following on from resolution 1559 calling for Syrian withdrawal and the dismantling of militias in the south of the country. 'They [the UN] have their own point of view and we have ours,' Aridi told reporters after a meeting of the Lebanese cabinet. The report by U
  • Berger-led team for PMC

    The Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden)are understood to be in final negotiations with a four-strong group led by the US' Louis Bergerfor the six-year project management consultancy (PMC) contract on the minerals railway. An award is expected soon.
  • BG investment plans take shape

    Plans by the UK's BG to invest up to $1,000 million in the country continue to take shape with the award of the front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract for the development of the Hasdrubal field to the UK office of UAE-based Petrofac (MEED 24:6:05). The contract involves FEED work for the construction of a largely unmanned field development installation, and a multiphase export pipeline between the field and onshore processing facilities next to BG's existing Han
  • Bid deadline extended for Almanakher IPP

    The bid deadline for the kingdom's first independent power project (IPP) has been extended to 7 December. Prospective bidders for the build-own-operate (BOO), 280-400-MW combined cycle scheme at Almanakher include Dubai-based AES Oasis, Saudi Ogerwith an international partner, Japan's Mitsui & Company, Germany's Siemens Project Ventures, Belgium's Unit International, and Saudi Arabia's Xenel Industrieswith Turkey's G
  • Bid groups form for IWPPs

    Bid groups are forming in preparation for the submission of proposals for the brownfield independent power and water projects (IWPPs) at Hidd in Bahrain and Fujairah. Bids for Hidd are due on 2 November and for Fujairah on 15 November (MEED 19:8:05; 15:7:05).
  • Bidders line up for Al-Raha

    Evaluation of bids is under way at ALDAR Properties for the dredging and reclamation package on the multi-billion dollar Al-Raha beach development in Abu Dhabi. An award is expected by December (MEED 2:9:05).
  • Bidders line up for Al-Raha

    Evaluation of bids is under way at ALDAR Properties for the dredging and reclamation package on the multi-billion dollar Al-Raha beach development in Abu Dhabi. An award is expected by December (MEED 2:9:05).
  • Bidders line up for Lusail reclamation works

    Bids were submitted in late September to Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Companyfor the initial marine, earthworks and site preparation contract on the multi-billion-dollar Lusail real estate development, previously known as North Beach. Bids are also under evaluation for the pre and post-contract consultancy and quantity surveying services (MEED 17:6:05).
  • Bidders line up for Lusail reclamation works

    Bids were submitted in late September to Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Companyfor the initial marine, earthworks and site preparation contract on the multi-billion-dollar Lusail real estate development, previously known as North Beach. Bids are also under evaluation for the pre and post-contract consultancy and quantity surveying services (MEED 17:6:05).
  • Bidding hots up on Pearl GTL

    Bidding is accelerating on the estimated $7,000 million integrated Pearl gas-to-liquids (GTL) project following the release of invitation to bid (ITBs) documents to prequalified contractors for more onshore engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) packages and site contracts. The ITBs follow the release of tenders for the two biggest EPC onshore packages, C4 and C5, and the appointment of the Japanese/US venture, JGC Corporationand Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), as th
  • Bidding hots up on Sipchem expansion

    Tendering is gathering pace on the two main packages covering the Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) Jubail acetyls complex. At least five shortlisted contractors - including Oslo-based AkerKvaerner, Fluor Corporationand Foster Wheeler, both of the US, and Lurgiand Linde, both of Germany - have until 31 October to submit technical bids for the main process unit package. Commercial bids will be submitt
  • Bids due for Haer sewage treatment plant

    The Electricity & Water Ministry has invited companies to submit bids by 12 November for a design and build contract involving the construction of a sewage treatment plant at Haer, south of Riyadh. The facility will have a design capacity of 400,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d), with plans to increase it to 640,000 cm/d at a later stage. The project is estimated to cost SR 450 million ($120 million) and will take 18 months to complete.
  • Bids due for Haer STP

    The Electricity & Water Ministry has invited companies to submit bids by 12 November for a design and build contract involving the construction of a sewage treatment plant at Haer (STP), south of Riyadh. The facility will have a designed capacity of 400,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d), with plans to increase it to 640,000 cm/d at a later stage. The project is estimated to cost SR 450 million ($120 million) and will take 18 months to be completed.
  • Bids due for major substation work

    Local contractors were due to submit their offers in late September and early October for 12 separate contracts to build 12 132/11-kV substations in the kingdom's central and western regions. Awards on the contracts, which are estimated to total more than $100 million, are expected to be made by year-end. The bidders are expected to include: Al-Toukhi Contracting; Al-Fanar; National ContractingCompany; and Arabian Bemco Contracting. Also due
  • Bids due for new desal plants

    Technical and commercials bids are due to be submitted by 14 November for the contract to build two desalination plants close to Benghazi. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract is worth an estimated $150 million and will call for the installation of a 9 million-gallon-a-day (g/d) plant at Derna and a 6 million-g/d facility at Soussa. Both plants will use multi-effect distillation (MED) technology and are targeted for completion by mid-2007. Prospective bidders include Fran
  • Bids in for GIIC infrastructure

    Technical bids were submitted on 1 October for the infrastructure contract on the expansion of the iron pelletising plant of Gulf Industrial Investment Company (GIIC)at Hidd. The bidders for the estimated $90 million-100 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract are understood to be Japan's Kobe Steeland MAN Ferrostaaland Koch Transporttechnik, both of Germany. The contract entails construction of a jetty, a stockyard, power
  • Bids in for greenfield Tinhert GTL plant

    Bids were submitted on 26 September for the concession to take an equity position in a new project company to build, own and operate an estimated $3,000 million greenfield gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in the Tinhert block near the In Amenas gas field. Bidders are understood to include a number of European and US oil majors.
  • Bids in for International City STP

    Four companies submitted bids on the 17 October for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build a sewage treatment plant (STP) at the estimated $1,900 million International City development in Dubai. The bidders include the Brazilian/local joint venture of Oderbrechtwith Bin Hafeez General Contracting & Transport Establishment, Al-Naboodah Contractingand Arabtec Construction, both local. The scheme covers construction of a
  • Bids in for Qatargas 3 jackets

    Two companies - Abu Dhabi-based National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) and Jebel Ali-based J Ray McDermott (Middle East) - submitted bids on 10 October for the first offshore package on the Qatargas 3 and 4 projects. The estimated $25 million contract involves the fabrication and installation of three jackets. The project is being handled by Qatargas 3, which has supplied the materials for the proposed facilities. A tender is due to be issued by early
  • Bids in for SEWA substations

    Bids have been submitted for further substation work planned by Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority (SEWA). For the 220-kV gas insulated switchgear (GIS) package on the Hamriya 220/132-kV substation project, three companies - Europe's ABB, France's Areva T&Dand Germany's Siemens- bid by the mid-September deadline. The same three companies are competing for the 132-kV GIS package on the project, as well as the 132-kV package on the Industrial City substation
  • Bids invited for Business Bay dredging

    Bids are due on 26 October for the first dredging and reclamation package on the Business Bay project, planned by locally based Arcapita. The estimated $8 million-contract calls for the dredging of 2.5 million cubic metres of material. The UK's Atkinshas been appointed as consultant on the project, likely to cost in excess of $1,000 million. Turner Construction Internationalof the US is the project manager. The phased development will be located opposite the d
  • Bids invited for Business Bay dredging

    Bids are due on 26 October for the first dredging and reclamation package on the Business Bay project, planned by locally based Arcapita. The estimated $8 million-contract calls for the dredging of 2.5 million cubic metres of material. The UK's Atkinshas been appointed as consultant on the project, likely to cost in excess of $1,000 million. Turner Construction Internationalof the US is the project manager. The phased development will be located opposite the d
  • Bids invited for Melitah harbour

    Agip Gas, the 50:50 joint venture of Italy's Eni and state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC), has given 10-20 international contractors until 10 November to submit bids for the estimated $100 million contract to build a new harbour at Melitah. The project involves the construction of a jetty for tugs and supply of base facilities to support offshore operations on Agip Gas' Eur 7,400 million ($9,079 million) Western Desert gas project. The basic design and tender
  • Bids invited for Melitah harbour

    Agip Gas, the 50:50 joint venture of Italy's Eni and state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC), has given 10-20 international contractors until 10 November to submit bids for the estimated $100 million contract to build a new harbour at Melitah. The project involves the construction of a jetty for tugs and supply of base facilities to support offshore operations on Agip Gas' Eur 7,400 million ($9,079 million) Western Desert gas project. The basic design and tender
  • Bids invited for Muscat wastewater management

    Bids are due by 5 November for the contract to provide management services to state-owned Oman Wastewater Services Company (OWSC)on the Muscat wastewater project. The duration of the contract is five years, with an optional extension of three years.
  • Bids opened for substations

    Bids were opened in early October for contracts to build three new 132/13.8-kV substations in the Riyadh area. The client is Saudi Electricity Company (SEC). Construction is expected to take 18 months.
  • Bids studied for new schools

    Bids were submitted on 27 September for a contract to design and build 20 new primary schools in the Riyadh governorate. The 18-month contract was tendered in four packages, with eight local contractors bidding for one or more packages. For package 1, the low bidder was Arabic Contractor, which offered a price of SR 75.8 million ($20.2 million), followed by Abdulaziz al-Orainy Establishment for Contracting atSR 77.3 million ($20.6 million). The low bidderfor package 2 was
  • Bids studied for new schools

    Bids were submitted on 27 September for a contract to design and build 20 new primary schools in the Riyadh governorate. The 18-month contract was tendered in four packages, with eight local contractors bidding for one or more packages. For package 1, the low bidder was Arabic Contractor, which offered a price of SR 75.8 million ($20.2 million), followed by Abdulaziz al-Orainy Establishment for Contracting atSR 77.3 million ($20.6 million). The low bidderfor package 2 was
  • Bids studied for Yanbu hospital

    The Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu (RCJ&Y) is evaluating bids for the design consultancy contract to expand the central hospital in Yanbu. Bidders for the contract include Sofcon, Saudi Consulting Services (SaudConsult), Zuhair Fayez Partnership Consultantsand Saudi Consolidated Engineering Company (Khatib & Alami), all local. Estimated to cost SR 150 million ($40 million), the 20-month project will entail construction of 17 new clinics. More
  • Bids studied for Yanbu hospital

    The Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu (RCJ&Y) is evaluating bids for the design consultancy contract to expand the central hospital in Yanbu. Bidders for the contract include Sofcon, Saudi Consulting Services (SaudConsult), Zuhair Fayez Partnership Consultantsand Saudi Consolidated Engineering Company (Khatib & Alami), all local. Estimated to cost SR 150 million ($40 million), the 20-month project will entail construction of 17 new clinics. More
  • Bina bids low for Ilam olefins

    The local Binain early October submitted the lowest price for the Ilam ethylene cracker project, which was tendered earlier this year. Its Eur 225 million ($268 million) bid was some 20 per cent below the next lowest price and almost 30 per cent less than the original $310 million bid by China's Sinopecfor the project when it was first tendered a year ago. Three other local firms priced the project: Namvaranat $340 million; Chagaleshat $370 million
  • Blair blames Tehran for bombings

    UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said on 6 October that he suspected Tehran was implicated in a series of explosions in Iraq. 'What is clear is that there have been new explosive devices used not just against British forces but elsewhere in Iraq. The particular nature of those devices leads us either to Iranian elements or to Hezbollah,' he said. 'However, we cannot be certain of this at the present time.' Tehran has denied involvement with insurgents in Iraq. 'If it is also the case that they
  • BMG squares up to Cube project

    BMG Middle East Construction, a subsidiary of Germany's BMG Group, is set to start work on the main construction package for the 24-storey Cube residential tower at Dubai Sports City (DSC) in Dubailand, after being awarded the estimated AED 189 million ($51 million) contract. The development, being promoted by a local/German group led by Germany's Trend Capital, will be located on plot R3B2 next to DSC's central waterway, called the Arabian Canal.
  • BMG squares up to Cube project

    BMG Middle East Construction, a subsidiary of Germany's BMG Group, is set to start work on the main construction package for the 24-storey Cube residential tower at Dubai Sports City (DSC) in Dubailand, after being awarded the estimated AED 189 million ($51 million) contract. The development, being promoted by a local/German group led by Germany's Trend Capital, will be located on plot R3B2 next to DSC's central waterway, called the Arabian Canal.
  • BMI set to launch Jeddah route

    UK carrier BMIannounced on 1 October plans to launch a three-times weekly service from London Heathrow to Jeddah in spring 2006. BMI will launch its Jeddah service in April as long as booking patterns for the carrier's London-Riyadh route, launched on 1 September, are in line with expectations (MEED 9:9:05). 'We are very happy with what we've seen so far,' BMI chief executive Nigel Turner told MEED. 'If passenger numbers continue as they are, the Jeddah service will be launched in Ap
  • Body of lawyer in Saddam Dujail trial identified

    The dead body of a lawyer for a co-defendant of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was identified on 21 October. Sadoun Nasouaf al-Janabi was abducted the day before and had been shot in the head. He was acting for former judge Awad Hamed al-Bandar al-Sadun. 'This will hinder lawyers from defending those held for political reasons,' said Diaa al-Saadi from the lawyers' union. Saddam's lawyer Khalil al-Dulaimi said that many of the defence lawyers for the seven former regime members standing
  • Bombs blast ministry and mosque

    A car bomb exploded near the Oil Ministry in Baghdad on 6 October, killing 10 people. The bomber appeared to be targeting a convoy of foreign contractors travelling through the Karada district. The bombing followed an assassination attempt on Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum at the beginning of October, during which two of the minister's bodyguards were killed.An explosion in a Shia mosque in Hilla on 5 October killed 25 people and injured about 90 people. There was confusi
  • Boskalis trawls through the Mangrove

    Royal Boskalis Westminsterof the Netherlands has been awarded an estimated $20 million-25 million dredging contract on the Mangrove residential complex in Abu Dhabi. The scope of works comprises about 1.8 million cubic metres of dredging and related marine works, creating a string of man-made islets. Located on the western corniche close to the Intercontinental hotel, the mixed-use development will include villas and a central hotel area. The design consultant is Conseco Internati
  • Boskalis trawls through the Mangrove

    Royal Boskalis Westminsterof the Netherlands has been awarded an estimated $20 million-25 million dredging contract on the Mangrove residential complex in Abu Dhabi. The scope of works comprises about 1.8 million cubic metres of dredging and related marine works, creating a string of man-made islets. Located on the western corniche close to the Intercontinental hotel, the mixed-use development will include villas and a central hotel area. The design consultant is Conseco Internati
  • BP sells Innovene

    The UK's BPon 7 October announced that it had reached an agreement with UK-based INEOS Enterprisesfor the sale of its petrochemicals and refining subsidiary, Innovene, in a deal worth $9,000 million. The sale is expected to be completed early next year, once regulatory approval is given. Innovene and the local independent oil firm Delta Oil Companyin June announced that they had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly develop a major
  • Breakthrough constitution deal brings Sunnis on board

    The Shia-Kurdish coalition struck a deal on 12 October with a leading Sunni group that will pave the way for their support of the draft constitution in the upcoming referendum. The Sunni group, the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP), accepted a proposal which allows for parts of the constitution to be renegotiated after December parliamentary elections. 'There was an agreement and we are calling for a 'yes' vote,' said IIP spokesman Ayad Samaraie. 'It will give us the opportunity to review the const
  • Bright horizons

    At 8.40 pm on 19 March, Doha's peace was shattered. As expatriates and nationals sat silently watching a performance of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, an explosion ripped through the west end annexe of the Doha Players Theatre, killing one British national and injuring at least 12 others. Amid the chaos that ensued, one fact soon became blatantly obvious: Qatar had become the latest victim of a suicide attack.
  • BSE awakes to a flood of IPOs

    Investors in Bahrain have an unusually exciting six months ahead of them. The kingdom's corporates have finally caught the initial public offering (IPO) bug, with three share sales under way and plans afoot for several more by early next year. The days of thin trading of the relatively few freely floated shares on the bourse may be over.
  • Bush to tell Abbas to bring militant attacks to an end

    President Bush was expected to pressure Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to reign in militant groups when the two leaders met in Washington on 20 October. 'There is more that the Palestinian leadership can do to end violence and dismantle terrorist organisations. It is important that the Palestinian leadership continues to take steps to put in place law and order in Gaza,' White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.Abbas is expected to raise the issue of control
  • Cabinet approves draft budget for 2006

    The council of ministers approved in early October the draft finance bill for 2006, forecasting a budget deficit despite higher revenues. Forecast revenues are expected to reach AD 1,667,900 million ($23,076 million), up 2.3 per cent year-on-year, while expenditure is forecast at AD 2,631,400 million ($36,406 million), a 14.3 per cent increase on 2005. However, the budget is based on a conservative oil price forecast of $19 a barrel, which is expected to be exceeded by a significant margin. The
  • Cabinet orders secondary bond market creation

    The Council of Ministers (cabinet) on 11 October instructed the authorities to establish a secondary market for government bonds, a long-awaited development in the accelerating evolution of the kingdom's capital market. 'The idea of setting up a secondary bond market is of great importance,' says one local banker. 'SAMA [Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency - central bank] has been talking to a number of banks for more than a year about establishing a network of primary dealers, likely to consist of a
  • Cairo revamps election line-up

    The ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) announced on 14 October that it will replace a third of its members of parliament ahead of legislative elections in November. NDP general secretary Safwat al-Sherif said younger candidates and women would be a priority. The NDP will contest all 222 parliamentary seats, putting forward two candidates for each constituency. The party currently holds 388 of 444 parliamentary seats.
  • Calyon arranges ship finance

    Calyonhas been appointed mandated lead arranger (MLA) on an $880 million debt package to finance the acquisition of four liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers to serve the integrated RasGas III project, being handled by Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company II (RasGas II). The vessels will be owned and operated by a 40:60 joint venture of Canada's Teekay Shippingand Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat), and will deliver LNG to the North American marke
  • CCE wins for Khursaniyah contracts

    The local Contracting & Construction Enterprises (CCE) has been awarded two contracts worth a total of about SR 500 million ($133 million) covering civil works for the onshore Khursaniyah oil field development project. The larger of the two contracts, known as industrial support facilities and worth SR 255 million ($68 million), covers the construction of office buildings, material storage warehouses, workshops and related facilities to be built over 300,000 square metres. The second
  • Chinese, locals to set up cement factory

    The local Farzat Group for Developmenthas signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China's Sinohydroto establish a joint venture company with a capital of $200 million to invest in the cement sector. The company plans to build a cement factory in Adra, northeast of Damascus, producing 5,000 tonnes a day of cement. Sinohydro will take a 55 per cent stake in the venture, Farzat Group will take 20 per cent and local private investors will take the remaining 25 per cen
  • Citi/HSBC team wins BBK mandate

    Citigroupand HSBCare understood to have been mandated to arrange the euro medium-term note (EMTN) programme for Bank of Bahrain & Kuwait (BBK). The first drawdown is likely to take place in the first quarter of 2006. BBK announced plans for a $1,000 million EMTN programme in mid-July.(MEED 26:8:05).
  • CITIC set to win Salco mega deal

    The local South Aluminium Corporation (Salco)is close to awarding a $935 million contract to China International Trust & Investment Corporation (CITIC)to build an aluminium smelter with capacity of 275,000 tonnes a year (t/y) at Bandar Abbas. A Salco negotiating team flew to China in mid-October to wrap up negotiations on the deal (MEED 9:9:05).
  • Commerzbank denies Indonesian joint venture

    Commerzbankhas denied being involved in a joint venture with Indonesia's state-owned oil company PT Pertaminato explore and develop two oil fields in Libya. The denial followed the announcement by officials at the Indonesian company that Commerzbank was to provide the finance for a $3,600 million, 30-year project to develop the blocks, which Pertamina acquired in the country's second post-sanctions exploration licensing round in early October (MEED 7:10:05).
  • Construction: A market of opportunity

    Doha's construction market has never seen anything like it. Barely a week passes without a major tender being issued in the energy, building and infrastructure sectors. Such has been the deluge that leading contractors in the market are now politely declining invitations to concentrate all their resources on the jobs in hand. 'Everyone is full and you need to draw a line at the end of the day,' says one. 'If you overload yourself, it will be a recipe for disaster: it is not a question of what yo
  • Construction: The sleeping minnow awakes

    Contractors in Bahrain say they have never seen anything like it. Such is the volume of construction work in the market that the larger companies are passing by on the smaller jobs that once were their bread and butter. 'Politically we have to tender on all the government jobs,' says one. 'But not with any real intention of getting them, or desire to.' Says another: 'Regional expansion is not of great interest at the moment. There is more than enough here to keep us occupied.'
  • Contract award due on power distribution

    The Palestinian Energy Authority is planning to award by mid-August an estimated $16 million contract to supply electricity distribution equipment and transformers. At least seven companies have submitted bids for the project, known as Assistance to the Energy Sector in the Palestinian Territory phase IV. Norway and Sweden are co-financing the project. The contract includes the supply and delivery of feeder pillars, disconnectors, switches, autoclosures, underground and overhead cables and light
  • Contractor search for Yiti, Shinas

    Prequalification of general contractors is under way for the Dubai resort and spa project at Yiti and Shinas, planned by Dubai International Properties (DIP). The launch of the contractor selection process came after the client appointed Australia's Bovis Lend Leaseas project manager on the development. DIP, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, signed in March a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to participate in the estimated $820 million resort project (MEED 1:4:0
  • Contractor search for Yiti, Shinas

    Prequalification of general contractors is under way for the Dubai resort and spa project at Yiti and Shinas, planned by Dubai International Properties (DIP). The launch of the contractor selection process came after the client appointed Australia's Bovis Lend Leaseas project manager on the development. DIP, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, signed in March a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to participate in the estimated $820 million resort project (MEED 1:4:0
  • Contractors gear up for remaining YanSab work

    International contractors are preparing bids for the two remaining engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) packages on the Yanbu National Petrochemicals Company (YanSab)$5,000 million petrochemicals complex. Awards on both contracts, which total an estimated $700 million, are expected by the end of the first quarter of 2006 (MEED 29:7:05).
  • Contractors: Pay-day blues

    At first glance it may appear contractors working in the region have never had it so good. But, with protracted payment terms and high levels of retention, contractors themselves will tell an entirely different story as they struggle to take on major projects and successfully manage their cashflow.
  • Convrgnt RAKs up Hilton deal

    Dubai-based Convrgnt Value Engineeringhas been awarded a contract to build 116 chalets on the estimated AED 90 million ($24 million) Ras al-Khaimah Hilton Beach Club expansion. Located in the Al-Marid district on the waterfront, the project is scheduled to be completed within 12 months. A separate tender for the construction of a new hotel is expected to be issued by the end of the year. The property will include 200 rooms, suites and associated entertainment facilities. The US'
  • Convrgnt RAKs up Hilton deal

    Dubai-based Convrgnt Value Engineeringhas been awarded a contract to build 116 chalets on the estimated AED 90 million ($24 million) Ras al-Khaimah Hilton Beach Club expansion. Located in the Al-Marid district on the waterfront, the project is scheduled to be completed within 12 months. A separate tender for the construction of a new hotel is expected to be issued by the end of the year. The property will include 200 rooms, suites and associated entertainment facilities. The US'
  • Correction

    Turkey's Nurol Holdingacquired new contracts totalling $1,130 million in 2004 and not $113 million as reported in Turkey, MEED Special Report, 30:9:05, page 40.
  • Correction

    Turkey's Nurol Holdingacquired new contracts totalling $1,130 million in 2004 and not $113 million as reported in Turkey, MEED Special Report, 30:9:05, page 40.
  • Correction

    The name of the chairman of the River Transportation Authority (RTA) is Karim Abu el-Khair and not as stated in MEED 16:9:05, page 36.
  • Correction

    The Saudi budget surplus forecast by Samba Financial Groupfor 2005 is SR 191,000 million ($51,000 million), not as stated in the Saudi Arabia Special Report in the 23 September edition of MEED (page 40). The kingdom's balance of payments is forecast to increase to SR 360,000 million ($96,000 million), not as stated.
  • Corruption investigation chases former ministers

    Baghdad issued on 11 October arrest warrants for former defence minister Hazim al-Shaalan and more than 20 other officials for suspected embezzlement of $1,300 million from government funds. The Defence Ministry allegedly misspent the funds on inappropriate military equipment while Al-Shaalan was in post. Prosecutors failed to deliver the warrant to Al-Shaalan, who, as a member of parliament is immune from prosecution, because he was out of the country. Three other ministers from the previo
  • Court to review convictions

    Libya's Supreme Court ruled on 9 October in favour of a retrial for scores of political prisoners. The decision allows 85 Muslim Brothers members to appeal their convictions for supporting a political party. The prisoners, many of whom are university teachers or students, were detained in the late 1990s and are serving sentences ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment. The son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, had said the prisoners would be granted amnesty as they
  • Crossing continents

    Jostling through the crowds of shoppers in Istanbul's glitzy Akmerkez shopping mall, it is difficult to imagine that just four years ago Turkey was in the throes of economic meltdown. Today, the units of the huge mall are filled by global chains and the lobby at the foot of the centre's Tower B hums with the sound of busy shoppers. It is the sound of the country on the up. And while the mood of middle class shoppers in the upmarket malls of Istanbul or Ankara are by no means indicative of the at
  • CSHK selected for free zone towers

    CSHK Dubai Contracting (CSHK), the local affiliate of China State Construction Engineering (Hong Kong), has been selected for the estimated AED 300 million ($81 million) main contract to build a twin-tower development called Centennial Towers in Jebel Ali Free Zone. The client is the local Dubai Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation, now part of DP World. The scheme calls for the construction of two 27-storey office towers with a two-level retail podium. The glass-clad struct
  • CSHK selected for free zone towers

    CSHK Dubai Contracting (CSHK), the local affiliate of China State Construction Engineering (Hong Kong), has been selected for the estimated AED 300 million ($81 million) main contract to build a twin-tower development called Centennial Towers in Jebel Ali Free Zone. The client is the local Dubai Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation, now part of DP World. The scheme calls for the construction of two 27-storey office towers with a two-level retail podium. The glass-clad struct
  • Daewoo steadfast on hotel commitment

    The investment division of South Korea's Daewoo Engineering & Construction is committed to spending an estimated $100 million on the construction of a new five-star hotel in the North African state. Negotiations with the government are due to be completed by mid-2006 on the location of the facility. 'Tripoli has been offered as a site, but it is not suitable,' a project source says. The next stage in the project implementation will be the issue of an architectural design tender for t
  • Daewoo steadfast on hotel commitment

    The investment division of South Korea's Daewoo Engineering & Construction is committed to spending an estimated $100 million on the construction of a new five-star hotel in the North African state. Negotiations with the government are due to be completed by mid-2006 on the location of the facility. 'Tripoli has been offered as a site, but it is not suitable,' a project source says. The next stage in the project implementation will be the issue of an architectural design tender for t
  • Damascus denies deal

    Damascus denied on 18 October that it is seeking a deal with Washington to end its international isolation. Damascus has reportedly offered to rescind support for Iraqi insurgents and to co-operate with the UN investigation into the assassination of Lebanese former prime minister Rafiq Hariri in return for Washington reducing pressure on Damascus. A Syrian official rejected reports that Damascus is hoping for a deal but said Syria wants to open an 'objective dialogue' with Washington (
  • Damascus slates Beirut

    Syrian media accused Beirut on 11 October of being under foreign influence and castigated Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora for abandoning Damascus. 'Developments are accelerating in Lebanon, which is under foreign domination. The enemies of Lebanon are sewing anarchy; and its leaders are incapable of holding to their convictions,' government daily Tishreen said. Siniora has forgotten 'his commitment to an Arab and nationalist police and his attachment to a special relationship between
  • Dana Gas allocation finalised

    Sharjah-based Dana Gashas announced the final results of its recent initial public offering (IPO), which was oversubscribed 140 times, collecting a total of AED 288,000 million ($78,474 million). Subscription closed on 3 October, after a subscription period that created a frenzy among regional investors (MEED 7:10:05, Briefing). The offering was divided into a AED 700 million ($190 million) retail tranche and a AED 1,270 million ($346 million) wholesale tranche. Subscription to the r
  • Dar acquires BIB stake

    Kuwait-based Islamic finance and investment company Investment Darhas acquired a 30 per cent stake in Bahrain Islamic Bankfrom a group of investors for about BD 32 million ($84.2 million). The Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA) has approved the sale. The purchase marks a continuing attempt by Dar to diversify revenues, which has included a recent $100 million partnership with Bahrain-based Islamic Arab Co-operation Bank and acquisition of a stake in Kuwait's
  • DCC gets DIC development work

    Dubai Contracting Company (DCC)has been awarded the estimated AED 255 million ($69 million) contract to build the first phase on the proposed Dubai Industrial City (DIC) development. The 17-month contract entails site preparation, infrastructure works, construction of four buildings and a canal running through the 52 million-square-metre development. Located next to Dubai Techno Park on Emirates road, the project will comprise five clusters - a chemicals zone, a machinery and transportati
  • DCC gets DIC development work

    Dubai Contracting Company (DCC)has been awarded the estimated AED 255 million ($69 million) contract to build the first phase on the proposed Dubai Industrial City (DIC) development. The 17-month contract entails site preparation, infrastructure works, construction of four buildings and a canal running through the 52 million-square-metre development. Located next to Dubai Techno Park on Emirates road, the project will comprise five clusters - a chemicals zone, a machinery and transportati
  • DCC signed up for WTC superstructure

    Dubai Contracting Company (DCC)has been awarded the AED 350 million ($95 million) superstructure package on the Dubai World Trade Centre (WTC) residence project. The 23-month contract will cover construction of the superstructure, external cladding and glazing (MEED 2:9:05).
  • DCC signed up for WTC superstructure

    Dubai Contracting Company (DCC)has been awarded the AED 350 million ($95 million) superstructure package on the Dubai World Trade Centre (WTC) residence project. The 23-month contract will cover construction of the superstructure, external cladding and glazing (MEED 2:9:05).
  • Descon takes Adgas contract

    Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Company (Adgas) has issued a letter of intent to Pakistan's Descon Engineering for an estimated $35 million three-year maintenance contract covering its Das island gas liquefaction trains 1, 2 and 3. Descon beat off competition from two other bidders - Costain Oil, Gas & Processof the UK and the local/Australian joint venture of Emdad Group with Pipeline Engineering Services (PES) Transfield - for the
  • Design team mobilises on new Irbil airport

    A team of the UK's Scott Wilsonand Turkey's Mak-Yolis moving into the construction phase of its design and build contract for a greenfield airport in the northern city of Irbil. The airport, to be built in four phases over 30 years, will have ultimate capacity of about 4 million passengers and 35,000 tonnes a year of cargo. Located 1.6 kilometres from the existing airport, the new site covers an area of about 104 million square metres. Project costs in the first phase are
  • Design team mobilises on new Irbil airport

    A team of the UK's Scott Wilsonand Turkey's Mak-Yolis moving into the construction phase of its design and build contract for a greenfield airport in the northern city of Irbil. The airport, to be built in four phases over 30 years, will have ultimate capacity of about 4 million passengers and 35,000 tonnes a year of cargo. Located 1.6 kilometres from the existing airport, the new site covers an area of about 104 million square metres. Project costs in the first phase are
  • Designs in for 5,000-unit Al-Falah project

    Design proposals have been submitted for a major villa project in Abu Dhabi known as the Al-Falah development. Bidders include: the UK's Morrison; the local office of KEO International Consultants;and an unidentified US-based company. The brief involves the construction of about 5,000 villas, infrastructure and a man-made landscaped hill in the centre of the development, which will be located inland of Al-Raha beach. The client is Abu Dhabi-based real estate developer
  • Designs in for 5,000-unit Al-Falah project

    Design proposals have been submitted for a major villa project in Abu Dhabi known as the Al-Falah development. Bidders include: the UK's Morrison; the local office of KEO International Consultants;and an unidentified US-based company. The brief involves the construction of about 5,000 villas, infrastructure and a man-made landscaped hill in the centre of the development, which will be located inland of Al-Raha beach. The client is Abu Dhabi-based real estate developer
  • DEWA awards substation packages

    Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) has made four awards on its programme to build nine new 132/11-kV substations. The local Emirates Trading Agency (ETA)has taken the lion's share of work, having been awarded an order to supply and install six substations. Japan's Mitsubishi Electric Corporationhas been contracted to build two substations and the local Emirates Electrical Engineering (EEE) and Siemens Pakistan, one apiece. Typically, a 132-
  • DEWA tenders more substation work

    Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) has invited bids by 20 November for another batch of 132/11-kV substations and associated cabling works. The latest tender covers the turnkey construction of the new Emaar 4, Maktoum Bridge, Awir Road, Earth and Mamzar substations, associated 132-kV cabling work, and substation modification work. In late September, DEWA selected four contractors to build a total of nine new 132-kV substations (MEED 7:10:05).
  • DIFC set to build first commercial PRT network

    Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is expected to issue in November a tender for a contract to design and build a personal rapid transit (PRT) system within the complex. Once completed, the 1.2-kilometre-long network will be the first fully-functioning commercial application of a PRT system anywhere in the world.
  • DIFX opens for business

    The Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) opened for trading for the first time on 26 September, six days after it was formally granted its licence by the regulator, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). The DIFX has said that it plans to become the leading trading platform for equities, bonds, funds and Islamic products in the Middle East, and aims to attract regional and international investors. Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), Deutsche Bank,
  • DIG still looking at Refco purchase

    Dubai Investment Group (DIG), a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, is considering acquiring part of the assets of US-based financial services firm Refco, which has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following the charging of its chief executive officer with fraud. 'We are still interested in the business,' a DIG spokesperson told MEED on 19 October. Speculation about DIG's continuing interest increased after Refco signed on 18 October a memorandum of understandin
  • DIP driven forward by Al-Futtaim

    The local Al-Futtaim Motorshas invited contractors to bid by 8 October for the contract to build a commercial building in Dubai Investment Park (DIP). The estimated $30 million project will take about 12 months to complete. Germany's Kling Consultis the consultant.
  • DIP driven forward by Al-Futtaim

    The local Al-Futtaim Motorshas invited contractors to bid by 8 October for the contract to build a commercial building in Dubai Investment Park (DIP). The estimated $30 million project will take about 12 months to complete. Germany's Kling Consultis the consultant.
  • DIP establishes $5bn JV in Istanbul

    Dubai International Properties (DIP)and Istanbul Municipality have established a $5,000 million joint venture (JV) to develop tourism, real estate and public sector projects in the Turkish capital. The projects under consideration include the construction of hotels, business towers and commercial and residential developments. Public sector projects include public transport networks, the redevelopment of areas surrounding Istanbul's Formula 1 racetrack and the restoration of tourist attrac
  • DIP establishes $5bn JV in Istanbul

    Dubai International Properties (DIP)and Istanbul Municipality have established a $5,000 million joint venture (JV) to develop tourism, real estate and public sector projects in the Turkish capital. The projects under consideration include the construction of hotels, business towers and commercial and residential developments. Public sector projects include public transport networks, the redevelopment of areas surrounding Istanbul's Formula 1 racetrack and the restoration of tourist attrac
  • DM releases details of Ittihad Road scheme

    Dubai Municipality is preparing preliminary designs for the $100 million Al-Ittihad Road improvement scheme. The project involves a number of different components. Al-Nahda roundabout at Al-Mulla plaza will be converted into an intersection; Al-Qiyada tunnel will be widened to four lanes in each direction; ramps will be installed linking Al-Quds road to Al Ittihad road; and a new tunnel will be built for Dubai-bound traffic at the Airport road interchange, together with a direct ramp from Al-Itt
  • DM releases details of Ittihad Road scheme

    Dubai Municipality is preparing preliminary designs for the $100 million Al-Ittihad Road improvement scheme. The project involves a number of different components. Al-Nahda roundabout at Al-Mulla plaza will be converted into an intersection; Al-Qiyada tunnel will be widened to four lanes in each direction; ramps will be installed linking Al-Quds road to Al Ittihad road; and a new tunnel will be built for Dubai-bound traffic at the Airport road interchange, together with a direct ramp from Al-Itt
  • DM sets bypass plan

    Dubai Municipality (DM) has invited contractors to submit bids by 30 October for the proposed widening and extension of the Dubai bypass. The project will be carried out in four phases (MEED 25:3:05). The estimated $80 million contract will see construction of a 30-kilometre dual-carriageway linking Dubai and Al-Ain with the Jebel Ali-Lehbab road. The scope of works on the 18-month contract also comprises three interchanges and associated roadworks and landscaping.
  • DM sets bypass plan

    Dubai Municipality (DM) has invited contractors to submit bids by 30 October for the proposed widening and extension of the Dubai bypass. The project will be carried out in four phases (MEED 25:3:05). The estimated $80 million contract will see construction of a 30-kilometre dual-carriageway linking Dubai and Al-Ain with the Jebel Ali-Lehbab road. The scope of works on the 18-month contract also comprises three interchanges and associated roadworks and landscaping.
  • Doha funds Israeli-Arab sports complex

    Qatar National Olympic Committee (QNOC) head Sheikh Saud bin Abdulrehman al-Thani signed an agreement on 10 October to fund a $10 million sports stadium in the Israeli Arab town of Sakhnin. The focus of the development will be a football ground called the Doha Stadium, which will be built under the direction of Qatari representatives, QNOC officials said. No funds will be given directly to the Bnei Sakhnin club, which is the only team with Arab players in the Israeli Premier League, or the
  • Doha Port: The need for speed

    Runaway economic growth and a surge in business activity are putting a strain on the state's infrastructure across the board. Ports are no exception. Exasperated shippers forced to use the increasingly congested Doha port complain that the planned new port linked to the New Doha International Airport (NDIA) cannot come soon enough. Unfortunately, it is unlikely to be ready before 2010.
  • Downturn in Tehran

    Political uncertainty, seasonal slowness and a sharp correction for overvalued stock have left the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) Tepix all-share index some 20 per cent down year on year from its record highs of summer 2004. Investors and financial consultants say they do not expect a recovery in the near term, as Iran prepares to face the UN Security Council over its nuclear programme and the private sector eyes the economic plans of President Ahmadinejad.
  • Dozen killed in Baghdad bombings

    Three car bombs in central Baghdad on 24 October have killed 12 people, according to reports from the Iraqi capital. The explosions took place close to two hotels used by foreign journalists and contractors.Police say that the attack involved two suicide car bombers and a third car bomb. At least another 11-15 people are understood to have been injured in the blasts, which occurred within the space of a few minutes near the Palestine and Sheraton hotels.Also on
  • DP plans Creek island opera house

    Dubai Properties(DP)has confirmed it is considering plans to build an opera house on the island between its Seven Pearls and Wellness Village projects as part of La Ville Contemporaire on the creek. Access to the island will be provided by Dubai Municipality's planned bridge which will cross the island and link the two developments. The UK's Halcrowwas appointed in early 2005 to draw up La Ville's masterplan. US-based Hill Internationalis the project manager
  • DP plans Creek island opera house

    Dubai Properties(DP)has confirmed it is considering plans to build an opera house on the island between its Seven Pearls and Wellness Village projects as part of La Ville Contemporaire on the creek. Access to the island will be provided by Dubai Municipality's planned bridge which will cross the island and link the two developments. The UK's Halcrowwas appointed in early 2005 to draw up La Ville's masterplan. US-based Hill Internationalis the project manager
  • Draft constitution wins approval

    Iraqi election officials confirmed on the 25 October the approval of the draft constitution after releasing final results from the mid-October referendum. Of the 9.8 million voters, 78 per cent approved the document, while turnout stood at 63 per cent. The positive vote now paves the way for new parliamentary elections to be held on 15 December. The main obstacle to the constitution had been if two-thirds of voters in three of Iraq's 18 provinces rejected it. Salahuddin (82 p
  • Drawdown news drops price oil prices

    With the US government indicating that it could release emergency stocks of heating oil to avoid any shortfalls in supply for the winter, spot Brent prices slipped back further in the first week of October to end at $61.94 a barrel in London, compared with $63.18 a barrel a week earlier. 'We are prepared to do what is necessary with respect to reserves,' US Energy Secretary Sam Bodman said in early October.
  • DUBAI FESTIVAL CITY: Enjoying the festive season

    When Dubai Festival City (DFC) topped out its 114-metre office tower in September, it gave the multi-billion-dollar project something it did not have before: clear evidence that construction is now fully under way. 'It's more than just a tower, it gives the development a high-rise structure that people can see from afar and begin to appreciate the scale of what we are trying to achieve at Dubai Festival City,' says DFC managing director David Glanville-Williams.
  • Dubai Marina mall goes for bid

    Local developer Emaar Properties has invited at least six contractors to tender for the main construction package for its planned shopping mall in Dubai Marina. Companies have until 15 October to submit bids.
  • Dubai Marina mall goes for bid

    Local developer Emaar Properties has invited at least six contractors to tender for the main construction package for its planned shopping mall in Dubai Marina. Companies have until 15 October to submit bids.
  • Dubai STP plants continue flowing

    At least three companies submitted bids on 27 September for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build the 25,000-cubic-metre-a-day (cm/d) sewage treatment plant (STP) at Dubai Sports City (DSC). The bidders include Eagle Electromechanical Company, Metitoand Septech Emirates, all Sharjah-based. The successful bidder will install a new facility, using a membrane bioreactor (MBR) system. Lebanon's Khatib & Alamiis the consu
  • Dubai streamlines port operations

    Dubaihas announced that it had merged its domestic and international port operations to create one entity named DP World.The merger of Dubai Ports Authority (DPA) and Dubai Ports International (DPI) creates one of the largest port operators in the world, with interests around the region, Asia, Europe, Australia and Latin America. DP World will operate 18 ports and is expected to handle about 12.5 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) a year. Officials at DP World also confirmed tha
  • Dubal inks alumina supply deal

    Dubai Aluminium Company (Dubal) has signed a long-term supply agreement with Canada's Global Alumina Corporation. Under the terms of the agreement, Dubal will purchase 40 per cent of alumina produced by a proposed refinery developed by Global Alumina's wholly-owned subsidiary Guinea Alumina Corporation. The new refinery is expected to go on stream in late 2008 with initial capacity of 2.8 million tonnes a year. The deal follows Dubal's agreement in August to acquir
  • East Africans workers maltreated in the Gulf

    East African women who travel to the Gulf searching for work are often maltreated and abused, a report issued by the International Migration Organisation (IMO) on 20 October says. 'Ethiopian women and girls who migrate to Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen and Saudi Arabia suffer from maltreatment, physical, sexual and emotional abuses,' the study says. 'Extreme cases of physical trauma, death and suicide had all been reported as consequences of physical, emotional and sexual abuses of young girls and w
  • Eastern eye

    By any measure, 2004 was a good year for Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic). Profits were up 112 per cent on the previous year to $3,800 million, while revenues rose by 47 per cent to $18,300 million, confirming Sabic as the biggest and most profitable public company in the Middle East.
  • EC doubles aid to territories

    The European Commission (EC) is expected to double its financial aid to the West Bank and Gaza in 2006. The commission is considering granting an additional Eur 200 million-300 million ($240 million-360 million) to boost economic recovery following Israel's withdrawal from Gaza. The increase depends on the quartet of the US, UN, EU and Russia special envoy to the Middle East James Wolfensohn's needs assessment, which is under way. The EC will consider progress toward judicial and financial refor
  • Economy The sky's the limit

    Qatar's macro-economic indicators just keep on getting better and better. Sky-high oil prices, combined with rising energy production and buoyant private sector activity, are fuelling a sustained and unprecedented economic expansion. Public finances are in rude health, double-digit growth has become the norm and per capita income is moving ahead of the US'. The impressive performance has not gone unnoticed at the ratings agencies: on 18 May, Moody's Investors Service took the unusual step of ann
  • Economy: Developing, diversifying

    When the UN released its annual World Investment Report on 29 September, it raised smiles in Manama. Bahrain's ranking in attracting foreign direct investment had leapt by 29 places, leaving it rated the 27th most successful country in the world and a full 77 places above the kingdom's nearest Gulf rival. The result was taken as a vindication of the government's efforts to liberalise and streamline investment procedures and to allow the private sector to drive economic growth.
  • Edara to manage Green Community West project

    The local Edarahas been appointed to provide project management services for the Green Community West project. The estimated $270 million development will cover 104 hectares to the west of the Green Community on Emirates road. The project involves the construction of 580 villas, 256 apartments, six recreation centres and extensive landscaping. Lebanon's Khatib & Alamiis the consultant and the UK's DG Jonesis the cost consultant. The client is Propertie
  • Edara to manage Green Community West project

    The local Edarahas been appointed to provide project management services for the Green Community West project. The estimated $270 million development will cover 104 hectares to the west of the Green Community on Emirates road. The project involves the construction of 580 villas, 256 apartments, six recreation centres and extensive landscaping. Lebanon's Khatib & Alamiis the consultant and the UK's DG Jonesis the cost consultant. The client is Propertie
  • Egypt: Enter number three

    Sometime in late October, the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) will start the much-anticipated competition for Egypt's third GSM licence, paving the way for the launch of an additional mobile phone network by 2007.
  • El-Baradei gets Nobel peace prize

    Norway's Nobel Institute awarded its 2005 peace prize on 7 October jointly to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its head Mohamed el-Baradei. El-Baradei was 'surprised and humbled', his spokesman Marc Vidricaire said. 'He sees this as support for what the agency has been doing in the field of non-proliferation, in the field of disarmament.' The prize is worth $1.2 million and will be presented in December. 'That the world has achieved little in this respect makes active oppos
  • Emaar announces plans for two projects

    Dubai-based Emaar Propertieson 18 October announced plans for two real estate developments entailing total investment estimated at $3,900 million. The first scheme, worth $500 million and known as the Eighth Gate, will be divided into three zones, including a commercial centre, a waterfront and a residential area. To be located in the Yafour area of Damascus, the development will include a piazza, a commercial tower, a plaza and a mall covering 41,806 square metres. Work is due to be
  • Emaar announces plans for two projects

    Dubai-based Emaar Propertieson 18 October announced plans for two real estate developments entailing total investment estimated at $3,900 million. The first scheme, worth $500 million and known as the Eighth Gate, will be divided into three zones, including a commercial centre, a waterfront and a residential area. To be located in the Yafour area of Damascus, the development will include a piazza, a commercial tower, a plaza and a mall covering 41,806 square metres. Work is due to be
  • Emaar heads for Damascus

    Dubai-based Emaar Propertiesis set to announce plans for a $1,000 million real estate development near Damascus following the award of a licence in late September from the Syrian Investment Office (SIO), part of the Economy & Foreign Trade Ministry. SIO head Mustafa al-Kafri told MEED on 10 October that Emaar had not yet selected a plot of land for the project, which will include a hotel, a mall and residential buildings. The SIO is also preparing to issue a real estate licence for a
  • Emaar heads for Damascus

    Dubai-based Emaar Propertiesis set to announce plans for a $1,000 million real estate development near Damascus following the award of a licence in late September from the Syrian Investment Office (SIO), part of the Economy & Foreign Trade Ministry. SIO head Mustafa al-Kafri told MEED on 10 October that Emaar had not yet selected a plot of land for the project, which will include a hotel, a mall and residential buildings. The SIO is also preparing to issue a real estate licence for a
  • Emirates notches up 20 years

    Dubai-based airline Emirates celebrated its 20th anniversary on 25 October. Since 1985, the airline has grown to become one of the 20 largest international carriers and the world's second most profitable airline. 'In the past 20 years, we have flown more than 80 million passengers to their destinations, carried over 4.6 million tonnes of cargo and as a group and contributed some $25,000 million in both direct and indirect expenditure to the UAE economy,' said Emirates chairma
  • Empower to cool City of Arabia

    The local Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower), a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, has signed a contract to provide district cooling for City of Arabia in Dubailand. As part of the agreement, Empower will provide 120,000 tonnes of district cooling capacity to various components of City of Arabia. Empower has also signed district cooling contracts for Dubai Health Care City, Dubai International Financial Centre and Business Bay (MEED 2:9:05).
  • Empower to cool City of Arabia

    The local Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower), a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, has signed a contract to provide district cooling for City of Arabia in Dubailand. As part of the agreement, Empower will provide 120,000 tonnes of district cooling capacity to various components of City of Arabia. Empower has also signed district cooling contracts for Dubai Health Care City, Dubai International Financial Centre and Business Bay (MEED 2:9:05).
  • Eni/Sonatrach join up for Transmed gas

    Italy's Eniand state energy company Sonatrachhave formed a new jointly-owned company to commercialise additional gas capacity carried through the Tunisian section of the Transmed pipeline. The creation of the new firm, Transmed,follows the agreement signed between Eni and Sonatrach in May to expand the pipeline owned by Transmediterranean Pipeline Company (TMPC), itself a 50:50 joint venture of the two companies, by 113,000 million cubic feet a yea
  • EoI issued for Marina 23

    The developer on the Marina 23 tower project is seeking expressions of interest (EoI) for the main construction package, with tenders expected to be released in mid-November. The 88-storey residential tower is being developed by Hircon International, a joint venture of the local ETA Starand India's A Hiranandani. The client had originally selected the local/Australian Nasa Multiplexto carry out the main contract, as well as provide construction man
  • EoI issued for Marina 23

    The developer on the Marina 23 tower project is seeking expressions of interest (EoI) for the main construction package, with tenders expected to be released in mid-November. The 88-storey residential tower is being developed by Hircon International, a joint venture of the local ETA Starand India's A Hiranandani. The client had originally selected the local/Australian Nasa Multiplexto carry out the main contract, as well as provide construction man
  • Ericsson wins GSM work

    Incumbent mobile phone operator Al-Madarhas awarded Sweden's Ericsson the contract to expand its GSM network. Ericsson will set up a turnkey GSM core network, deliver a radio network and charging system and provide general packet-switched radio service (GPRS) capability. The network rollout, which will effectively quadruple Al-Madar's capacity and coverage, will start in October and be completed in 12 months.
  • Etisalat ponders Egyptian licence

    Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) is considering whether to bid for the forthcoming Egyptian GSM licence, according to its president and chief executive officer Mohammed Omran.
  • EU to beef up Moroccan border controls

    The EU is preparing to send experts to Morocco to help in Rabat's fight against illegal immigration, EU Justice & Security commissioner Franco Frattini said on 4 October. The EU will assess Morocco's border controls in light of the recent crisis caused by thousands of sub-Saharan immigrants trying to cross into Spain's North African territories of Ceuta and Melilla. 'We are going to send the message to the Moroccans that Europe stands ready to commit itself very quickly on the ground as wel
  • Europeans respond to January failure

    European and Asian oil companies have dominated Libya's second exploration licensing round taking all but one of the 23 oil and gas exploration licences awarded. Italy's Eni and Japan's Mitsubishi Corporationwere the biggest winners scooping four awards each.
  • Exploration licences go to European and Asian firms

    Tripoli awarded 44 oil exploration licences on 2 October to mainly European and Asian firms. Italy's Eni Gas received four permits, the UK's BG got three, France's Total was awarded one and Mitsubishi and Nippon Petroleum of Japan received at least one permit each. Indian Oil Corporation and Oil India also got one licence each. Norwegian, Indonesian, Algerian, Australian and Canadian companies took the rest. The only US company to receive a permit to search for oil was Exxon-Mobil Corporati
  • Extensions for Arak and Abadan, again

    National Iranian Oil Engineering Company (NIOEC)has extended the bid deadlines on the Arak and Abadan refinery projects. However, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors say they expect the eventual bid dates to be pushed back even further amid low international appetite for the work. Bids for the Abadan refinery work, which were due on 3 October, have now been extended to the end of October. EPC contractors say another deadline is likely to be set near the end of the
  • Failaka deadline extended

    The bid deadline has been extended by more than two months until the end of December for the estimated $3,330 million build-operate-transfer (BOT) tourist development of Failaka. Nine investor groups have been prequalified for the 20-year concession, but none are understood to have been prepared to submit proposals by the original 2 October deadline because of concerns over the project's masterplan and terms of reference. The government recently dissolved the Mega Projects Agency (MPA) because o
  • Failaka deadline extended

    The bid deadline has been extended by more than two months until the end of December for the estimated $3,330 million build-operate-transfer (BOT) tourist development of Failaka. Nine investor groups have been prequalified for the 20-year concession, but none are understood to have been prepared to submit proposals by the original 2 October deadline because of concerns over the project's masterplan and terms of reference. The government recently dissolved the Mega Projects Agency (MPA) because o
  • Fallujah station recon kicks off

    The Transport Ministry has invited companies to bid by 7 November for the contract to design, supply, demolish and rebuild the Fallujah train station and associated housing facilities. The 12-month firm fixed-price contract also covers mechanical, electrical and plumbing works (MEP). The project is part of a $100 million programme to carry out 60 key projects to rebuild the city following the US military assault in 2004. Other projects include: a $40 million project to improve the city's electri
  • Fallujah station recon kicks off

    The Transport Ministry has invited companies to bid by 7 November for the contract to design, supply, demolish and rebuild the Fallujah train station and associated housing facilities. The 12-month firm fixed-price contract also covers mechanical, electrical and plumbing works (MEP). The project is part of a $100 million programme to carry out 60 key projects to rebuild the city following the US military assault in 2004. Other projects include: a $40 million project to improve the city's electri
  • FCP pursues new strategy

    Canada's First Calgary Petroleums(FCP) announced in late September the start of drilling on its ZCH-2 appraisal well on Rhourde Yacoub block 406a in the Berkine basin, southeast of Hassi Messaoud, as part of its new strategic focus on improving its reserve base.
  • FEED bids in for integrated Gassi Touil project

    Bids are under evaluation for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract covering the estimated $3,000 million Gassi Touil integrated liquefied natural gas (LNG) project being promoted by a Spanish consortium of Repsol and Gas Natural. The group was awarded a development contract in November 2004 by state oil company Sonatrach (MEED 19:11:04).
  • Feeding frenzy

    Security guards were assaulted. Flights to the UAE from Saudi Arabia were hopelessly overbooked. And the traffic in Abu Dhabi was brought to a standstill as regional investors thronged towards the receiving banks. The initial public offering (IPO) of shares in Sharjah-based Dana Gas attracted unprecedented interest from across the GCC and the world, as investors rushed to register for some of the 34 per cent of shares on offer in the company, founded by UAE-based Crescent Petroleum, Sajaa Gas an
  • FFE, PCIC sign plant technology deal

    FFE Minerals Indiasigned on 13 October with the local Petroleum Coke Industries Company (PCIC) the contract to design and supply the private calcined coke plant in Shuaiba industrial area. Under the terms of the 18-month contract, FFE, a subsidiary of Denmark's FL Smidth, will supply and install the calcining equipment, incinerators and technology as well as provide project supervision for the civil and electro-mechanical work, the contracts for which PCIC is curre
  • Fichtner wins M station consultancy

    Germany's Fichtner has been appointed consultant for the M station co-generation project, planned by Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA). M station, to be built at Jebel Ali, will be DEWA's largest single power and desalination complex, with a final capacity of 2,000 MW and 60 million gallons a day (MEED 1:7:05; 6:5:05). DEWA is planning to execute the project in three stages, with commissioning of each stage planned between 2009-11. In addition to the construction of the co-g
  • File stays open on Arafat death

    Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei said on 12 October that the investigation into the cause of late president Yasser Arafat's death was inconclusive. Qurei said that neither French nor Palestinian doctors could identify the disease that killed him and the case was not closed. 'There could be medical developments in the future that could determine the cause of his death,' Qurei said. A report published in the New York Times in September said Arafat, who died in a French ho
  • Financial close reached on second IWPP

    Financial close has been reached and international syndication launched on the debt package for Qatar's second independent water and power project (IWPP) at Ras Laffan. The financing comprises a $664 million, 20-year loan and a $33 million stand-by facility, with the developer - the Q-Powerconsortium made up of Qatar Electricity & Water Company (QEWC), the UK's International Powerand Japan's Chubu Electric Power Company - contributing equity of $16
  • Firms braced for UN probe results

    The UN Independent Inquiry Committee set up to look into corruption during the UN's oil-for-food programme in Iraq will reveal its final report on 27 October. The findings will reveal the names of more than 2,000 companies from 60 countries listed in Iraqi files which were involved in paying kickbacks and bribes to Saddam Hussein's government. 'The Iraqis were very good at keeping meticulous records,' said Peter Volcker, head of the investigation committee on 26 October. 'Our
  • Firms prepare for metro line 3 tenders

    The long-awaited tendering process is under way for the first phase of line 3 on the Cairo metro project, with both consultants and contractors preparing bids following the release of tender documents. The client, the National Authority for Tunnels (NAT), says it hopes for initial construction work on the estimated $1,000 million project to start by next summer (MEED 11:11:03).
  • First investment advisers licensed

    The Capital Market Authority (CMA) has issued its first licences for companies to practise financial advisory services - previously the preserve of banks - under the provisions of the Capital Market Law. The first licences have been granted to BMG Financial Advisors, Al-Malaz Financial Consultantsand Bakheet Financial Advisors (BFA). 'We are setting up a closed joint stock company, probably capitalised at about SR 60 million [$16 million],' says Beshr Bakheet,
  • First package out on phosphate scheme

    Four international companies and groups have been invited to submit bids by 12 November for the contract to build the sulphuric acid plantat Ras al-Zour. The project, part of the $2,000 million phosphate and fertiliser project, is being developed by the Public Investment Fund and Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden - MEED 9:9:05).
  • FL Smidth sells off cement shares

    Denmark's FL Smidth has announced the sale of its 7.5 per cent stake in the local Sinai Cementto Vicatof France for DKr 100 million ($16 million). Vicat in March 2003 acquired a strategic stake in Sinai Cement, which is located in the northern part of the Sinai peninsula. Sinai Cement's 1.4 million-tonne-a-year facility began production in early 2001.
  • Fluor signs major Habshan EPC contract

    Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Company (Gasco) announced on 9 October the award of a $999 million contract to the US' Fluor Corporation for the first-phase expansion of the Habshan gas complex. Two companies priced the contract in late July, with the other bidder being Bechtel, also of the US (MEED 22:7:05).
  • Foreign fruits LABOUR MARKET REFORM

    The plan to tax employers for their expatriate workers is only part of wider labour market reform plans, says Labour Minister Majeed al-Alawi
  • Four bid for Bu Hasa job

    Commercial bids were submitted in mid-September to Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Company (Gasco) for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract involving the debottlenecking of the Bu Hasa gas plant. The bidders are the US/Canadian VECO, Paris-based Technip, US-based Foster Wheelerand Tebodin Middle East, part of Tebodin of the Netherlands. The project is aimed at the revamp of the existing train 1 to meet the original
  • Four in for KJO platform job

    Four groups of contractors submitted bids on 3 October for the detailed engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning (EPCIC) contract to build an integrated wellhead platform offshore the Divided Zone (DZ). The four fabricators are: Jebel Ali-based J Ray McDermott (Middle East); Abu Dhabi's National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC); a Saudi Arabian/Malaysian joint venture of Al-Rafid Trading & Contractingand Ramunia;
  • Four in for wind farm prequals

    Four companies have applied to prequalify for the estimated $120 million supply and installation contract to carry out phase 5 under the Zaafarana wind farm project in the Gulf of Suez. Companies such as Vestas Wind Systems of Denmark and Spain's Gamesa are understood to be among those seeking prequalification. The client, the New & Renewable Energy Authority (NREA), is expected to draw up a shortlist for the development of the 120-MW facility in November, with invitation
  • Friends reunited

    On 1 September, BMI flight BD775 touched down in Riyadh after its maiden flight from London Heathrow. It was another coup for the UK airline, which has added a string of long-haul routes to its network in recent years. But it was also a significant moment for Saudi-British relations. BMI's decision to start operating three weekly flights to the Saudi capital ends almost six months without any UK carrier flying to the Middle East's biggest economy, a country which hosts some 25,000 British expatr
  • Funding agreed for US university project

    The Kurdish Regional Government's Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research has approved plans to build an American University in Sulaimaniyah. The project will now move into the design phase after securing financing for the scheme. The US government has committed $10 million, with the Kurdish government and local telecommunications operator Asiacelleach investing $2 million. The government will also supply furniture and equipment for the university.
  • Funding agreed for US university project

    The Kurdish Regional Government's Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research has approved plans to build an American University in Sulaimaniyah. The project will now move into the design phase after securing financing for the scheme. The US government has committed $10 million, with the Kurdish government and local telecommunications operator Asiacelleach investing $2 million. The government will also supply furniture and equipment for the university.
  • Gaza/West Bank: Struggling to build a future

    Construction of Yasser Arafat's mausoleum is due to start any day. The design of the $1.1 million complex, which will include landscaping, a monument and a tomb, has already been completed and the construction contract has been let. But there is a hitch. The engineers from Jordan-based Consolidated Consultants are barred from the site near the Muqata in Ramallah. As yet, Israel has not granted permission for them to cross into the West Bank.
  • GC tendering approaches

    Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is preparing to issue soon the first of two engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) tenders to build two gathering centres (GCs) capable of handling a total of 360,000 barrels a day (b/d) of Kuwaiti export crude to be produced from its northern and southeastern fields.
  • GCC states bring joy to world railways

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that there is no money in railways. This helps to explain why there have been so few new rail projects in North America and Western Europe and why the schemes that have gone ahead took longer to build and cost more to operate than the planners imagined.
  • GE/Fisia team signs up for Ras Abu Fontas B2

    A team of the US' GE Power Systemsand Italy's Fisia Italimpiantiwas awarded in mid-October the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract on the Ras Abu Fontas (RAF) B2 project. The contract, placed by Qatar Electricity & Water Company (QEWC), is valued at $520 million. Financial close on the project is expected to be achieved by year-end (MEED 19:8:05).
  • Gensler selected for new DCCI tower

    US-based Gensler Associateshas been selected to design the second tower for the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) in Deira. Two firms from an original list of eight have been shortlisted to provide project management services for the AED 200 million ($54 million) scheme (MEED 4:3:05).
  • Gensler selected for new DCCI tower

    US-based Gensler Associateshas been selected to design the second tower for the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) in Deira. Two firms from an original list of eight have been shortlisted to provide project management services for the AED 200 million ($54 million) scheme (MEED 4:3:05).
  • Getting Qatar going

    If Sheikh Mohamed bin Ahmed al-Thani ever requires any further evidence that the Qatari economy is on a roll, he can always look out of his office window. From his vantage point at the top of the new Economy & Commerce Ministry tower, the minister has a bird's-eye view of Doha, taking in everything from the frenetic pace of building work in the West Bay area to the ever-growing number of traffic jams along the Doha corniche. The panorama confirms that while the unprecedented economic growth spur
  • GFH appointed as adviser for Energy City

    Gulf Energy,a global consortium of energy consultants and investors, has appointed Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH)as the lead financial adviser for the $1,600 million Energy City project. The first phase of the development includes a technology centre; an education and training centre; a shipping and trading centre; an oil and gas producers centre; a service industry centre; an infrastructure and downstream centre; and an information, press and associations centre. In A
  • GIB takes $400m ofsubordinated debt

    Gulf International Bank (GIB) has signed a $400 million subordinated debt facility, lead managed by Barclays Capitaland Citigroup. The deal is the first tier II issuance by a regional financial institution.
  • GICM added to US terrorist list

    Washington added the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM) to its list of foreign terrorist organisations on 11 October. The GICM was involved in the Madrid train bombing in 2003 that killed almost 200 people, the bombing of a residential compound in Saudi Arabia in the same year and a series of attacks in Casablanca, alleged deputy US State Department spokesman Adam Ereli. The group, which emerged in the late 1990s, supports Al-Qaeda and includes members who trained in Afghanistan, US in
  • GIIC race narrows

    The field has narrowed to three for the estimated $250 million-300 million main plant contract on the expansion of the iron pelletising plant of Gulf Industrial Investment Company (GIIC)at Hidd. Finland's Outokumpuhas been eliminated, leaving Germany's Siemens, Italy's Danieli & Companyand Japan's Kobe Steelin the running. The work includes installation of a kiln, rollers and pelletising machines to double capacity. Technical evaluation
  • Gulf golf reaches the green

    Three companies have submitted bids for the main construction package on the Victory Heights golf course, the Dunes. The bidders are the local Orient Irrigation Services, an Australian/local joint venture of Turnpointwith Septech Emiratesand France's Gregory International. An award is expected to be made in early October. The 18-hole course was designed by Ernie Els Design; US-based Troon Golfwill manage the facility. The cl
  • Gulf golf reaches the green

    Three companies have submitted bids for the main construction package on the Victory Heights golf course, the Dunes. The bidders are the local Orient Irrigation Services, an Australian/local joint venture of Turnpointwith Septech Emiratesand France's Gregory International. An award is expected to be made in early October. The 18-hole course was designed by Ernie Els Design; US-based Troon Golfwill manage the facility. The cl
  • Gulf investors sign up for social housing

    Bahrain's Venture Capital Islamic Bankand Kuwait's Commercial Real Estate Companyhave signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with the local Rashid al-Game'y & Partnersfor a $500 million social housing project. The JV will build 24,000 housing units to address the scarcity of low-cost living accommodation in Rabat and Marrakech. The government will provide land and related infrastructure for the planned development. The European Commission earlier this year allo
  • Gulf investors sign up for social housing

    Bahrain's Venture Capital Islamic Bankand Kuwait's Commercial Real Estate Companyhave signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with the local Rashid al-Game'y & Partnersfor a $500 million social housing project. The JV will build 24,000 housing units to address the scarcity of low-cost living accommodation in Rabat and Marrakech. The government will provide land and related infrastructure for the planned development. The European Commission earlier this year allo
  • Hariri probe will implicate senior Syrian officials

    The head of the UN probe into the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri will name Syrian suspects in October, sources close to the investigation said on 30 September. 'All indications are that [Detlev] Mehlis will implicate some Syrian officials in the case,' the source said. Mehlis questioned seven Syrian officials in Damascus in the last week of September. Sources said interviews took four days and included senior Syrian intelligence officers in Lebanon at the time of the
  • Hariri suspects may face international court

    Suspects in the assassination of Lebanese former prime minister Rafiq Hariri may be tried by an international tribunal, said Lebanese Prime Minister Foaud Siniora in an interview published by France's Le Monde on 19 October. He said a decision would be made after Beirut studied the UN report of the killing, which the investigation is due to issue on 21 October. 'I have complete confidence in Lebanese judges but, in order to do their job properly, the Lebanese justice system is going through
  • Healthy interest in sovereign eurobond

    The Finance Ministry on 7 October launched the final eurobond issue of the year, drawing strong interest from local and international investors. Banque Audi, Banque de la Mediterraneeand Citigroupwere the lead managers on the $750 million, 10-year sovereign issue, which carries a coupon of 8.5 per cent (MEED 3:12:04).
  • Hikma Pharma to launch IPO

    The local Hikma Pharmaceuticalson 17 October announced plans to launch a $123 million initial public offering (IPO) and to list its shares on the London Stock Exchange. The offer price range will be set at £0.265-0.33. The company is also planning a secondary listing on the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX). A representative of Hikma said the aim of the listing was to improve the company’s international profile ahead of planned expansion in Egypt, Tunisia and East
  • Hitachi, Sumitomo win Kureimat turbine order

    A Japanese team of Hitachi Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation has received a $44 million order to provide a steam turbine for the 750-MW combined-cycle power plant at Kureimat, 90 kilometres south of Cairo. The team, which emerged as frontrunner for the contract earlier this year, will supply a 250-MW steam turbine to Upper Egypt Electricity Company (UEEC), the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC)subsidiary that will operate the plant. The
  • Holtec studies Bazyan plant

    India's Holtechas been retained to work on a detailed feasibility study for the proposed Bazyan cement plant in the north. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World Bank, is carrying out an environmental review and an environmental impact assessment, as the first step towards providing an estimated $210 million loan to help finance the construction of the grassroots facility. The scope of works entails construction of a 2.9 million-tonne
  • Honeywell takes full charge of UOP

    New Jersey-based Honeywell announced on 3 October that it had entered into a definitive agreement with The Dow Chemical Companyof the US to acquire the remaining 50 per cent stake in UOP, also of the US. Honeywell already holds a 50 per cent interest in UOP. The deal, which is yet to receive US regulatory approval, is expected to close by late 2005 and will be worth $825 million. UOP is a licensor of process technology, catalysts and plants.
  • Honeywell takes instrumentation work

    The US' Honeywellhas been awarded a $10 million contract by state energy company Sonatrach to provide maintenance services for five years on process control instrumentation units at four of the company's sites.
  • Hospitality fund launched

    Registration is being finalised with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) of Serai Capital, a new company being established to manage a portfolio of hotels both within the Middle East and further afield. The hotels will be acquired by the newly formed sharia-compliant Al-Yusr investment fund - already registered in the Isle of Man and legally managed out of the territory. The brand, Serai Hotels & Resorts, will focus on offering an authentically Islamic experience for visi
  • Hospitals to get IT injection

    Bids are due by 31 October to supply information systems to seven hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza. Computer equipment and software will be installed in three pilot hospitals in the West Bank and three in Gaza, all of which have little IT infrastructure, as well as the better-equipped European Hospital in Gaza. The project will co-ordinate the hospitals' IT systems and connect each hospital's departments to a new patient database. The European Commission's Eur 1.9 million ($2.3 million) hospi
  • Hotels: Running out of room

    Emad Abujalala faced a familiar problem in late September. The chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Gulf Adventures had received an urgent phone call from a European tour operator wanting 900 rooms in January for a party of tourists. After a morning of ringing around the top hotels in Doha, Abujalala gave up. There was simply no room.
  • HSBC close to buying Iraqi investment bank

    HSBC is in talks to buy a 70 per cent stake in Iraq's Dar Es Salaam Investment Bank, Reuters reported on 2 October. HSBC Middle East chief executive officer David Hodgkinson said the deal to buy a majority stake was 'very close' to completion. 'Because the banking system in Iraq is still in its fairly early stages of development, it will be a question of putting in place fundamental services,' he said. HSBC plans to invest in computerised payment systems and cash machines. Foreign banks wer
  • Hutchison signs for Sohar terminal

    Hong Kong-based Hutchison Port Holdingshas signed an agreement with Muscat and Rotterdam-based Steinwegto establish a container terminal at Sohar Industrial Port. The joint venture, which also includes local investors, will be called Oman International Container Terminal.
  • Hyder hired by Legends

    UK-based Hyder Consultinghas been appointed as the infrastructure consultant for the Legends project in Dubailand. The appointment comes as the project moves into the construction phase. An award for bulk earthworks is expected in early November (MEED 3:12:04).
  • Hyder hired by Legends

    UK-based Hyder Consultinghas been appointed as the infrastructure consultant for the Legends project in Dubailand. The appointment comes as the project moves into the construction phase. An award for bulk earthworks is expected in early November (MEED 3:12:04).
  • Hyundai wins Mina pier work

    South Korea's Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company was formally awarded on 26 September the KD 40 million ($138 million) contract to expand the existing oil pier at Mina al-Ahmadi. The client is state refinery operator Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC). Construction will take 18 months. The scope of works for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract covers the construction of berths 5 and 6 and related facilities. The contract was fast-tra
  • IAEA seeks face-saving solution to Iran crisis

    The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohammed el-Baradei said on 5 October that he was hopeful about the resumption of talks between the EU and Tehran over its nuclear programme. 'We have a hiccup right now,' he said at a conference on nuclear safety in Moscow. 'I am optimistic that in the coming months we will see a resumption of these negotiations. We need to find a face-saving solution.'El-Baradei said that Russia shared the aims as the international c
  • Ibn Zahr PP EPC tender coming soon

    Four companies are understood to have been shortlisted for the estimated $800 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build a new polypropylene (PP) plant at Jubail. They include: South Korea's Samsung Engineering Company; Italy's Snamprogetti;and Tecnimont, also of Italy. The client, Saudi European Petrochemical Company (Ibn Zahr), is expected to issue the tender in November. Oslo-based Aker Kvaerner has the
  • Icon, Wind jobs awarded in JLT

    Two more contracts have been awarded for projects in the Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) development. The local SS Lootah Contracting Companyhas been awarded the main construction package for the Icon Towers project. The estimated AED 250 million ($68 million) contract calls for the construction of a 39-storey twin tower development. Kuwaiti developer Al-Mazaya Real Estateis the client, the local National Engineering Bureau (NEB)is the project designer and consulta
  • Icon, Wind jobs awarded in JLT

    Two more contracts have been awarded for projects in the Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) development. The local SS Lootah Contracting Companyhas been awarded the main construction package for the Icon Towers project. The estimated AED 250 million ($68 million) contract calls for the construction of a 39-storey twin tower development. Kuwaiti developer Al-Mazaya Real Estateis the client, the local National Engineering Bureau (NEB)is the project designer and consulta
  • IMF sounds warning

    The medium-term outlook for the Syrian economy is 'worrisome', the IMF has warned. The comments are contained in the conclusions to the fund's latest Article IV consultation with Damascus, published in early October.
  • Infinity Tower rises

    Bahrain-based Projacs Internationalhas been appointed project manager on the construction of Infinity Tower in Dubai Marina. The 75-storey structure will have a built-up area of about 100,000 square metres and will be mainly residential, with some retail facilities. The US' Skidmore, Owings & Merrillis the consultant on the AED 300 million-400 million ($82 million-109 million) project. A tender for the main construction contract is due to be issued in Q1 2006 with complet
  • Infinity Tower rises

    Bahrain-based Projacs Internationalhas been appointed project manager on the construction of Infinity Tower in Dubai Marina. The 75-storey structure will have a built-up area of about 100,000 square metres and will be mainly residential, with some retail facilities. The US' Skidmore, Owings & Merrillis the consultant on the AED 300 million-400 million ($82 million-109 million) project. A tender for the main construction contract is due to be issued in Q1 2006 with complet
  • Insurgents negotiate to drop Saddam death sentence

    President Talabani said on 6 October that insurgents are trying to negotiate with Washington to remove the possibility of a death sentence for Saddam Hussein, Egypt's Al-Ahram newspaper reported. Talabani said members of Saddam's fallen regime are behind insurgent attacks and have offered to halt operations in return for Saddam's life, according to the paper. The trial of Saddam Hussein is expected to start in mid-October.
  • Insurgents target pro-constitution Sunnis

    Insurgents attacked on 14 October the offices of the Iraqi Islamic Party. The Sunni group has agreed to support the constitution. Bombs exploded in the vicinity of two of its offices in Baghdad and a third in Fallujah was gutted by fire. Six offices in total have been attacked since the party said it would back the draft charter in the upcoming national referendum. Islamist group Jaich al-Taefa al-Mansoura, which has ties to Al-Qaeda in Iraq, threatened to kill party leaders who backed the
  • Integrating Arabia

    If all goes to plan, November will see the release of tender documents for the long-awaited Saudi landbridge project. Calling for the design, finance, construction and operation of a 950-kilometre line between Riyadh and Jeddah and an additional 115-kilometre connection between Dammam and Jubail, the multi-billion-dollar scheme will be the most ambitious transport plan ever undertaken in the region.
  • Interior minister takes his own life

    Syria's Interior Minister Ghazi Kanaan committed suicide on 12 October. Kanaan died in his office and Damascus has started an investigation into the incident, Syria's official news agency SANA said. The UN team investigating the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri interviewed Kanaan in September. Kanaan was Damascus' intelligence chief in Beirut until 2002.'I want to make clear that our relation with our brothers in Lebanon was based on love and mutua
  • Interview causes political stir

    National guard chief calls for decision-making review
  • Investcom share offering launched

    Beirut-based emerging markets telecoms operator Investcom launched its initial public offering (IPO) on 25 September . Citigroupis the global co-ordinator and joint bookrunner with HSBC. On offer to international institutional investors are 60 million global despositary shares (GDSs), representing 128.5 million new shares and 171.4 million existing shares. A maximum price of $12.35 a GDS has been set and final pricing is expected to take place on or around 5 O
  • Investors advised to take PE lessons

    No matter how much analysts warn of an overheating market and excessive valuations, Saudi investors remain stubbornly bullish. The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) is up by more than 80 per cent this year. 'It is hard to interpret rationally something that is not a rational phenomenon,' says Eric Louis, equities analyst at Banque Saudi Fransi.
  • IOCs eye Tinhert oil and gas scheme

    Four international oil companies (IOCs) are understood to have submitted non-binding technical proposals for a major integrated oil and gas project, involving the construction of a greenfield gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant at Tinhert in partnership with state energy company Sonatrach.
  • IPA joins search for investors

    Iraq Ports Authority (IPA), under the auspices of the Transport Ministry, is expected to issue tender documents by the end of October to regional and international companies interested in investing in the construction of more port facilities in the south of the country. Companies will have 45 days to submit expressions of interest. The project, which is part of the ministry's plans to upgrade the country's ports over the next 20 years, will call for the construction of 13 berths at Umm Qasr, fou
  • Iran: Crossed wires

    Iran's 18-month quest for a second GSM licence has caused foreign investors to wince. A tender process that began impeccably has suffered a string of delays and difficulties, amid political interference and growing mistrust between foreign and local partners. It now looks likely that the entire process could be scrapped.
  • IRAN: Digging deep for diversity

    From the high mountain passes of Kurdistan and Azerbaijan to the pink, rugged hills of Kerman, Iran is rich in minerals. Ancient gold and silver mines dot parts of the country, while other areas are pitted with coal digs. In more modern times, metals have sprung to the fore.
  • Iraqi National Assembly backtracks on referendum rule change

    The Transitional National Assembly (parliament) decided on 5 October to reverse its decision to amend the rules governing the upcoming referendum on the Iraqi constitution. 'The government is completely keen to make the constitutional process legitimate and of high credibility and we are concerned about the success of this process rather than the results of the referendum,' government spokesman Laith Kubba said. The revised rules would have almost guaranteed the Kurd and Shia
  • Israeli court outlaws Palestinian human shields

    The Israeli Supreme Court ruled on 6 October that Israeli forces must not use Palestinian civilians as 'human shields'. The court said the practice of using civilians in army operations was against international law. 'The army has no right to use civilians as human shields; It is cruel and barbaric,' Supreme Court Justice Aharon Barak wrote in the judgement. 'I am concerned that when an army unit comes at night, no one would refuse to co-operate out of fear.' Palestinian and Israeli human r
  • Israeli finance minister signals willingness to talk

    Tel Aviv is prepared to lift restrictions on Palestinians if they do not threaten Israel's security, Israeli Finance Minister Ehud Olmert said on 6 October. 'Any gesture on our part which could ease the daily life of the Palestinians without endangering our security may be considered,' Olmert said. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is due to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in mid-October. Olmert indicated that the two leaders might discuss the port in Gaza and Palestini
  • ISX gears up for automatic switch

    The Project & Contracting Office (PCO) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the contract to create an automated system for the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX), inviting interested system integrators to respond by 13 October. Companies will be asked to propose details on: procurement and delivery of software packages; installation and implementation of electronic trading systems for the ISX; establishing a clearing, settlement and depositary system for a depositary facility; and staff training.
  • Italians seal paper plant deal

    Abu Dhabi National Paper Mill (ADNPM)has awarded Italy's Over Meccanicathe contract to expand its existing plant in the capital's new industrial city. Total investment in the project is about AED 200 million ($54 million - MEED 28:5:99).
  • J&P in front on Faregh

    Athens-based Joannou & Paraskevaides (J&P - Overseas)is the low bidder for the estimated $125 million-140 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the phase 2 development of the Faregh gas field, 200 kilometres south of Ras Lanuf. J&P took the lead after the submission of revised bids in mid-September from J&P and Germany's MAN Ferrostaal. The contract covers the construction of a 180 million-cubic-feet-a-day (cf/d) gas processing plant along
  • Jacobs takes Fertil expansion

    Ruwais Fertiliser Industries (Fertil)has awarded the feasibility study contract for a major expansion of its facilities to the US' Jacobs Engineering. At least four companies submitted bids in early July for the contract. The other bidders were Canada's SNC Lavalin, Australia's WorleyParsonsand US-based Shaw Group(MEED 15:7:05). The expansion will focus on the construction of a 350-tonne-a-day (t/d) ammonia unit, a 350-t/d urea unit and gran
  • Jan De Nul in for Jebel Ali dredging

    Belgium's Jan De Nul Dredging signed in mid-October the dredging and reclamation package for stage 1 of the Jebel Ali new container terminal project. The contract, valued at AED 1,850 million ($503 million), centres on the dredging of about 22.5 million cubic metres of material. The package is the second major award on the project by DP World, which is the umbrella organisation for the Ports, Customs & Free Zones Corporation. In August, South Korea's Hyundai Engin
  • Jan De Nul in for Jebel Ali dredging

    Belgium's Jan De Nul Dredging signed in mid-October the dredging and reclamation package for stage 1 of the Jebel Ali new container terminal project. The contract, valued at AED 1,850 million ($503 million), centres on the dredging of about 22.5 million cubic metres of material. The package is the second major award on the project by DP World, which is the umbrella organisation for the Ports, Customs & Free Zones Corporation. In August, South Korea's Hyundai Engin
  • JORDAN: A tale of two strategies

    Amman is one of the world's leading potash and phosphate exporters - but the two companies in charge of extracting these important minerals are approaching their business from entirely different perspectives. On the one hand is Arab Potash Company (APC), whose privatisation in 2003 paved the way for capital investment and a major expansion of its activities. On the other is Jordan Phosphate Mines Company (JPMC), facing growing labour disputes as plans for its own privatisation move ahead.
  • JV secures Lake View hotel

    The local/Belgian joint venture of Arabtec Constructionand Bel Hasa Six Constructhas been selected for the estimated AED 725 million ($197 million) main contract to build the 300-metre-high Lake View hotel and serviced apartments on the Burj Dubai development. The client is local property developer Emaar Properties(MEED 19:8:05).
  • JV secures Lake View hotel

    The local/Belgian joint venture of Arabtec Constructionand Bel Hasa Six Constructhas been selected for the estimated AED 725 million ($197 million) main contract to build the 300-metre-high Lake View hotel and serviced apartments on the Burj Dubai development. The client is local property developer Emaar Properties(MEED 19:8:05).
  • Kanaan commits suicide as UN report nears conclusion

    Damascus announced on 12 October that Syrian Interior Minister Ghazi Kanaan had committed suicide. The announcement came as the UN investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri entered its final stages.
  • Kanaan inquiry rules suicide

    The investigation into the death of Interior Minister Ghazi Kanaan concluded on 13 October that Kanaan killed himself with a single shot to the head. Attorney-general Mohammed al-Loji said that the minister and former security chief shot himself with his own pistol in his office and died later in hospital. Kanaan was buried in his hometown of Bhamra in northern Syria.Foreign Affairs Minister Farouq Sharaa said that a 'media smear campaign' had caused Kanaan to take his own li
  • KFH head steps down

    Jasser al-Jasser has resigned as general manager of Kuwait Finance House. Deputy general manager Mohammed al-Omar has been made acting general manager pending a permanent appointment.
  • KFH plans industrial park

    Kuwait Finance House (KFH) - Bahrain has reached agreement with the Industry Ministry to invest in the creation of the KFH Industrial Oasis within the government-sponsored Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP) at Hidd. The park will cover an area of about 155,000 square metres and KFH will spend $25 million on infrastructure.
  • KFH to create technology park

    Kuwait Finance House (KFH) - Bahrainis planning to establish a $300 million science and technology park in the south of the kingdom, adjacent to the Durrat al-Bahrain resort in which KFH is a 50 per cent shareholder. The project is being carried out under the patronage of Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa and the details are being discussed with the Economic Development Board (EDB).
  • Khansaheb starts work as DCA sets new height limits

    The local Khansaheb Civil Engineeringhas received a letter of intent to begin work on phase 1 of the Hillside condominium project at Dubai Festival City (DFC). The work involves the construction of seven condominium blocks that will provide about 180 apartments located on a man-made hill in phase 3, zone 10 of DFC. Under the terms of the negotiated design and build agreement, the contractor will work towards agreeing a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) with the client once final designs
  • Khansaheb starts work as DCA sets new height limits

    The local Khansaheb Civil Engineeringhas received a letter of intent to begin work on phase 1 of the Hillside condominium project at Dubai Festival City (DFC). The work involves the construction of seven condominium blocks that will provide about 180 apartments located on a man-made hill in phase 3, zone 10 of DFC. Under the terms of the negotiated design and build agreement, the contractor will work towards agreeing a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) with the client once final designs
  • Khuff wins wellhead work

    The local Khuff General Trading & Contractinghas been awarded a contract, worth KD 14.8 million ($51 million), to supply and install new wellheads for state upstream operator Kuwait Oil Company (KOC). Under the terms of the four-year contract, Khuff will design, supply, install, commission and maintain low pressure wellheads across all the state's oil fields. The new wellheads, built at new wells drilled at a pressure of 5,000 psi, will substantially increase the state's
  • King Hamad hospital tendered

    Bids have been invited by 15 November from seven prequalifiers for the main construction contract on the King Hamad general hospital project in Muharraq. The estimated BD 28 million ($74 million) scheme calls for the construction of a 312-bed facility, built to allow for an expansion to about 500 beds at a later date. Completion is scheduled for 2007. Australian Hospital Design Group drew up the designs; client responsibility is shared between the Works & Housing Ministry and the Hea
  • King Hamad hospital tendered

    Bids have been invited by 15 November from seven prequalifiers for the main construction contract on the King Hamad general hospital project in Muharraq. The estimated BD 28 million ($74 million) scheme calls for the construction of a 312-bed facility, built to allow for an expansion to about 500 beds at a later date. Completion is scheduled for 2007. Australian Hospital Design Group drew up the designs; client responsibility is shared between the Works & Housing Ministry and the Hea
  • KOC and HHI sign crude export facilities deal

    Kuwait Oil Company(KOC)and South Korea's HyundaiHeavyIndustries (HHI) signed on 3 October the contract, worth KD 361.6 million ($1,247 million), for the Ahmadi crude export facilities project. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract is aimed at increasing storage capacity by 11.4 million barrels to support sustainable production levels of 3 million barrels a day. 'This is the highest value single project that KOC will ever sign and the
  • KOC lets gas network upgrade

    The local Al-Khadda International General Trading & Contracting Companyhas won a KD 7.7 million ($26.5 million) contract to upgrade the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) network in south and east Kuwait (SEK). The scope of works for the two-year engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract covers the supply and installation of eight 20-32-inch-diameter pipelines totalling almost 40 kilometres in length. The scheme is aimed at increasing SEK's LPG handling rate to 603 million
  • KRG eyes investment law

    The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) is close to passing a new investment law aimed at easing the entry of regional and international companies into the region. The Kurdish Investment law, which is now before the Kurdish National Assembly, will apply to companies investing at least ID 50 million ($34 million). The law includes: exemption from paying income and property tax for five years; exemption of tax on all fixed assets including equipment, land, vehicles, furniture and imported raw materi
  • KSE still going strong

    Another month, another record for the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE), as the region's deepest bourse passed the 10,000 mark for the first time in mid-September. The landmark was no flash in the pan. By close of trading on 3 October, the index had reached 10,428 points and showed no signs of slowing its record run of growth, which has seen it rise by more than 57 per cent since the beginning of the year.
  • Kurds mull industrial city in Irbil

    The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) is moving ahead with plans to build its Arat industrial city project after completing a feasibility study. The project, which will see total investment costs of about $500 million, is backed by the World Bank. The scheme, to be located 25 kilometres outside Irbil, covers an area of about 42 million square metres and will be built in various phases. Phase 1 will comprise construction of basic infrastructure and buildings providing facilities for industrial an
  • Kuwait in chaos, says national guard head

    The head of Kuwait's national guard Sheikh Salem al-Sabah called for unity within the royal family in an article published in Kuwait daily Al-Qabas on 10 October. 'The situation is now chaotic and everybody is complaining about the disorder, the nepotism, the corruption and the bribery rife in the government,' he told the paper. 'It is a dangerous indicator when our traditions are ignored and when senior members of the ruling family are pushed aside and decisions are taken unilaterally. We
  • Kuwaiti crisis may herald new crown prince

    Former oil minister Ali al-Baghli said on 13 October that he expects a leadership reshuffle in Kuwait. 'We expect some positive changes; We expect the nomination of at least a crown prince, a new one,' he said. 'It's in the hands of the Emir [Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah) to nominate the crown prince and then this should be confirmed by parliament.' The most likely candidate is Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, analysts said. 'The changes could be promoting She
  • L&T bags PDO contract

    India's Larsen & Toubrohas been awarded a $37.2 million contract by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO)to revamp and upgrade transmission lines and substations in fields in the centre of the sultanate. The scope of works involves construction of 293 kilometres of 132-kV overhead transmission lines and additional substations. Completion is due by February 2007.
  • L&T cements Star deal

    Star Cement Bahrain, a subsidiary of Dubai-based ETA-Ascon, has selected India's Larsen & Toubro (L&T)to supply and install equipment for the expansion of its Hidd plant. The scheme, which includes a new grinding system with capacity of 600,000 tonnes a year (t/y), will increase capacity from 500,000 t/y to 1.2 million t/y (MEED 16:9:05).
  • Labal fertiliser tendered

    Bids have been invited for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) package on a new urea and ammonia facility planned by Labal Chemical Company, an Iran-India joint venture in Assaluyeh. The new tender comes amid fresh difficulties facing a similar project now under bidding for Shiraz Fertiliser Company (SFC - MEED 15:7:05).
  • Leadership calls for unity, again

    Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah called for national unity on 17 October at the opening of the National Assembly (parliament). 'National unity ; is the security valve and peace of our country,' he said. Parliamentary speaker Jassem al-Kharafi echoed the prime minister and also called for a multiparty system. 'National unity is the heart of our political system and the multiparty system its veins,' he said. 'It is not logical that we have de facto parties and that we do not seri
  • Lebanese troops deployed on the streets

    Beirut deployed Lebanese troops on 20 October in key cities ahead of the release of a UN report into the assassination of Lebanese former prime minister Rafiq Hariri. Interior Minister Hassan Sabeh described the military patrols and armed soldiers on the streets as an unofficial state of emergency. Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said the measures were necessary in case the report revealed who was responsible for Hariri's murder.The UN probe into the huge bomb explosion that kil
  • Legal briefing: Qatar Financial Centre: QFC seeks to benefit from good foundations

    The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) was established earlier this year under Qatari law no. 7 of 2005, known as the QFC law. Its aim is to provide a business centre in Doha to attract international financial services institutions and multi-national corporations wishing to participate in Qatar's rapidly growing economy as well as providing a platform to provide services elsewhere in the region.
  • Liquidity Management Centre: Quietly famous

    The name Liquidity Management Centre (LMC) is not one that automatically springs to mind when surveying the Islamic finance market in the Gulf. Established regional heavyweights such as Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), or the in-vogue sharia-compliant subsidiaries of global players like HSBC and Citigroup, are more likely contenders. But out of some $8,000 million of sukuk issuance to have come out of the region, LMC has arranged about $1,200 million of the paper. As chief executive officer (CEO) Ahmed
  • Loan kick starts olefins 11 work

    A consortium of Germany's Linde, South Korea's Hyundai Engineering & Construction Companyand the local Sazeh Consulthas started engineering works on the new olefins 11 cracker at Assaluyeh, after the client, National Petrochemical Company (NPC), provided an estimated $100 million bridge loan. The consortium will soon begin infrastructure and site preparation work on the cracker project, which, at a total capacity of 2.4 million tonnes a year (t/y),
  • Lobbying for Palestinian trade

    The European Commission (EC) is providing $680,000 to the UN Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD) to establish the Palestinian Shippers Council (PSC). The PSC will represent the interests of importers and exporters in the West Bank and Gaza. PalTrade, the Palestinian Authority's trade promotion agency, will supervise the founding of the council. 'There is no better time to establish such an organisation,' says PalTrade chief executive officer Sani Daher. He expects hundreds of traders will
  • Locals to carry out Kharg utility works

    National Petrochemical Company (NPC)has selected Moshanir Power Engineering Consultantsand Niroo va Tavan, both local, to carry out the utilities package for the Kharg Island olefins project, now under construction by Paris-based Technip. Under the package, the companies will build a power plant with capacity to produce 110 MW of power and 250 tonnes an hour of steam. The turnkey contract is for 34 months. The facility is set to use gas feedstock to be
  • Long-awaited Gaza water carrier gets going

    US-based Morgantiis understood to be preparing to start construction of the long-suspended Gaza regional water carrier by the end of 2005. The US' Metcalf & Eddyis the construction management consultant on the project and US-based Montgomery WatsonHarza is doing design work. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide $66 million for the link, which will run from Beit Hanoun in north Gaza to Rafah in the south.
  • Long-awaited Gaza water carrier gets going

    US-based Morgantiis understood to be preparing to start construction of the long-suspended Gaza regional water carrier by the end of 2005. The US' Metcalf & Eddyis the construction management consultant on the project and US-based Montgomery WatsonHarza is doing design work. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide $66 million for the link, which will run from Beit Hanoun in north Gaza to Rafah in the south.
  • LSI to set up shop in Dubai

    The US' LSI Logic Corporation has announced plans to set up a semi-conductor design and engineering development centre at Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO). The centre, which will be completed by the end of 2006, is the first substantial knowledge-transfer endorsement to be won by the DSO since its establishment as an independent free zone authority earlier this year. 'We think we are better than China and India, a bridge for Western Europe and the US,' DSO chief executive officer Juergen Kn
  • Lulu marine works retendered

    Revised bids have been invited by 15 October from the three lowest bidders for the estimated BD 7 million ($18 million) contract to carry out marine works on the Lulu Tourism Companyresort off the coast of Manama. The companies are the local Ahmed Mansour Al-A'Ali, China Harbour Engineeringand a Belgian company. The job was retendered after changes to the designs by the consultant, the UK's Jacobs Gibb. Financing for the $120 million project by the
  • Lulu marine works retendered

    Revised bids have been invited by 15 October from the three lowest bidders for the estimated BD 7 million ($18 million) contract to carry out marine works on the Lulu Tourism Companyresort off the coast of Manama. The companies are the local Ahmed Mansour Al-A'Ali, China Harbour Engineeringand a Belgian company. The job was retendered after changes to the designs by the consultant, the UK's Jacobs Gibb. Financing for the $120 million project by the
  • Maaden asks for PMC clarifications

    Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden)and the Public Investment Fund (PIF) have asked the two shortlisted companies and groups bidding for the position of project manager on the development of phosphate resources to resubmit technical and commercial clarifications. The Canadian/US team of SNC Lavalinand US' Jacobs Engineering, and Australia's WorleyParsons have until mid-October to respond after the client decided to change its contracting strategy. The
  • Maaden releases ammonia tender

    Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden)has issued invitations to bid to prequalified contractors for the contract to build its 2,000-tonne-a-day ammonia plant at Ras al-Zour. Bids for the estimated $400 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract are due to be submitted by the end of November.
  • Man plans pipe plant

    India's Man Industriesplans to set up a AED 250 million ($68 million) pipe-making unit in the UAE. The company is still to decide on a location for the plant, but is understood to have identified potential sites in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras al-Khaimah. Although the plant would cater to the regional market, a large proportion of its production will be supplied to the federation, which would make a free zone location an expensive option. Instead, the company is exploring opportunities o
  • Manama realigns assets

    Manama is planning to establish at least two holding companies for state assets, in preparation for their sale. One will own all government stakes in companies and the other will be the umbrella for all government land holdings.
  • Manama shuffles cabinet

    King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa on 26 September issued a royal decree reshuffling the cabinet and dissolving the oil ministry, transferring its functions to a newly created body affiliated to the prime minister's court.
  • MANPOWER: Wanted: new talent

    Cement and steel prices have leapt by as much as 35 per cent in some Gulf states in the last three years, and contractors have been feeling the pinch. However, new capacity is gradually filtering through to the market, and profit margins of 7-10 per cent have helped take the sting out of short-term supply constraints. But there are longer-term capacity issues that face contractors and clients alike in the oil industry, the most important of which is a shortage of labour.
  • Marina Mall slides into action

    The local National Investment Corporation (NIC)is evaluating bids from at least two contractors for the latest contract to expand the Marina Mall development in Abu Dhabi. Bidders for the estimated $20 million contract include Orient Contracting Companyand Nael bin Harmal, both local. The eight-month contract covers construction of an ice skating rink and associated facilities. The local Architectural Consulting Group (ACG)is the consultant. The lo
  • Marina Mall slides into action

    The local National Investment Corporation (NIC)is evaluating bids from at least two contractors for the latest contract to expand the Marina Mall development in Abu Dhabi. Bidders for the estimated $20 million contract include Orient Contracting Companyand Nael bin Harmal, both local. The eight-month contract covers construction of an ice skating rink and associated facilities. The local Architectural Consulting Group (ACG)is the consultant. The lo
  • Medco sells Novus Middle East assets

    Indonesia's Medco Energihas sold the Middle East assets of its subsidiary Novus Middle Eastto MeridianOil & Gasin a deal worth $65 million. Under the terms of the deal, Novus Middle East will change its name to Indago Petroleum. The Novus assets in the region comprise four concessions in Oman and one in the UAE.
  • Meedco/NCC win Khursaniyah T&D work

    The local/South Korean Middle East Engineering & Development Company (Meedco) and the local National Contracting Company (NCC)have been awarded the three packages on the Khursaniyah transmission and distribution (T&D) project in the Eastern Province. The client is Saudi Electricity Company (SEC). Meedco won package 1, worth SR 185.6 million ($49.5 million), covering the turnkey construction of the 380/115-kV substation at Khursaniyah. NCC won packages 2 and 3,
  • Methanol pre-FEED let

    The UK's Jacobs Consultinghas been awarded the contract to provide technology and prepare for front-end engineering and design (FEED) work on the Salalah methanol project. Three companies were competing for the work (MEED 22:4:05)
  • Metito goes green

    Dubai-based developer Emaar Propertieshas awarded the local Metito the 12-month engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to expand the sewage treatment plant (STP) at the Greens development in Dubai. The expansion will see capacity increased to 10,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d) from 3,000 cm/d. Metito will also operate and maintain the plant for three years, replacing Sharjah-based Eagle Mechanical Company, which completed the original facility.
  • Militants castigate Hamas

    Palestinian militant groups issued a joint statement on 6 October condemning Hamas' attacks on police stations and public buildings in Gaza. A meeting of militant organisations issued a statement which said it 'regrets and condemns the armed aggression shown by elements of Hamas, who fired rockets at two police stations, causing casualties and damage'. The committee called on the Palestinian Authority to investigate the incident. Hamas representatives boycotted the meeting and the group dis
  • Military action against Syria is an option, Bush warns

    US President Bush has warned that he will consider military action against Syria if Damascus fails to meet international demands for the expulsion of militant Palestinian groups, takes action to prevent insurgents from crossing the border into Iraq and ends its involvement in Lebanon.Bush said military action would be a last resort in dealing with Damascus and hoped the government would cooperate with the UN investigation. 'A military option is always the last choice of a pre
  • Mina Saqr port expands

    Kuwait Gulf Link Ports International (KGLPI), the operator of Mina Saqr port in Ras al-Khaimah (RAK), has invited contractors to submit bids by 17 November for the construction and strengthening of quay walls at the port. The tender is part of the government's $1,000 million investment programme over the next year to expand the emirate's port infrastructure (MEED 22:7:05).
  • Mina Saqr port expands

    Kuwait Gulf Link Ports International (KGLPI), the operator of Mina Saqr port in Ras al-Khaimah (RAK), has invited contractors to submit bids by 17 November for the construction and strengthening of quay walls at the port. The tender is part of the government's $1,000 million investment programme over the next year to expand the emirate's port infrastructure (MEED 22:7:05).
  • Misr, Caire set for merger

    Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif on 24 September announced that the government had decided to merge state-owned Banque Misrand Banque du Caire. The merger of the country's second and third largest banks in terms of assets will effectively create the country's largest bank ahead of National Bank of Egypt (NBE).
  • Mivan-Depa fits out Islamic Arts museum

    UAE-based Mivan-Depa Contracting (Mivan Depa)has started work on the main interior fit-out package on the Museum of Islamic Arts project on the Doha corniche. The package is the latest to be awarded on the landmark project, which is expected to be completed in time for the Asian Games in December 2006. Turkey?s Baytur Construction & Contractingis the main contractor. Ireland's Mercuryis the mechanical electrical and plumbing (MEP) subcontractor. IMP Ar
  • Mivan-Depa fits out Islamic Arts museum

    UAE-based Mivan-Depa Contracting (Mivan Depa)has started work on the main interior fit-out package on the Museum of Islamic Arts project on the Doha corniche. The package is the latest to be awarded on the landmark project, which is expected to be completed in time for the Asian Games in December 2006. Turkey?s Baytur Construction & Contractingis the main contractor. Ireland's Mercuryis the mechanical electrical and plumbing (MEP) subcontractor. IMP Ar
  • MLAs appointed on data services loan

    Integrated Telecom Company (ITC), one of two companies licensed by the Communications & Information Technology Commission in August 2004 for the provision of data services, has appointed a group of three mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) to arrange a SR 450 million ($120 million) syndicated loan facility. They are Banque Saudi Fransi- which is also acting as financial adviser, Emirates Bank Internationaland Saudi Hollandi Bank. The funds raised will financ
  • MLAs appointed on Sohar aromatics

    A 14-strong group of mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) has been appointed on the $400 million commercial debt package for the Sohar aromatics project, being developed by Oman Oil Company, Sohar Refinery Company and South Korea's GS International. HSBCis acting as financial adviser (MEED 5:8:05).
  • Models, cars and hotels

    BRIEFING: DUBAI INTERNATIONAL CAPITAL
  • More cement plans milling around

    A consortium led by Saudi Arabian investors is planning to build a new 5,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) cement plant in the Kurdish region in the north of the country. The project company, Tama Design, has also been awarded a licence form the Kurdistan Regional Government to exploit limestone quarries in the area. India's Holtecis carrying out the feasibility study for the scheme. The project is one of several under consideration. In August, Industry & Minerals Minister Usamah Ab
  • More time for City Centre bids

    The deadline has been extended to 22 October for the four prospective bidders for the main construction contract on the Bahrain City Centre mall. The three-storey mall, located on reclaimed land in the Seef area, will have a built-up area of some 450,000 square metres and will include two hotels, a multi-screen cinema and the region's biggest water park. The UK's Mace Internationalis the project manager; the client is Dubai-based Majid al-Futtaim Investments(MEED 9:9:05).
  • More time for City Centre bids

    The deadline has been extended to 22 October for the four prospective bidders for the main construction contract on the Bahrain City Centre mall. The three-storey mall, located on reclaimed land in the Seef area, will have a built-up area of some 450,000 square metres and will include two hotels, a multi-screen cinema and the region's biggest water park. The UK's Mace Internationalis the project manager; the client is Dubai-based Majid al-Futtaim Investments(MEED 9:9:05).
  • Moussa on national reconciliation mission

    Arab League chairman Amr Moussa arrived in Iraq on 20 October on a mission to push national reconciliation. He is expected to meet Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari, President Talabani and Shia spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Sistani. Moussa started his visit the day after former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein took the stand on trial for crimes against humanity and as Iraqis awaited the results of the national referendum on the draft constitution. Moussa has said that Baghdad lacks
  • MPs call off demand for new government

    Palestinian members of parliament (MPs) agreed on 18 October to postpone a debate on a new cabinet. 'We are still sticking by our decision to demand that this cabinet be changed but we agreed to delay discussing the issue until next Wednesday,' parliamentary speaker Rawhi Fattouh said. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas will have returned from Washington by then after meeting with US President Bush on 20 October. Abbas wrote a letter to the Legislative Council urging on MPs
  • MTC: The regional force be with you

    Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) of Kuwait has grown rapidly over the past five years to become the region's largest telco in terms of subscribers and geographical coverage. MTC director-general Saad al-Barrak talks about his company's development, and the challenges it faces as it continues its expansionist drive
  • Mukhalla port plans move forward

    Discussions are under way between the government, the World Bank through its Port Cities Development Programme, and Beirut-based consultant Dar al-Handasah (Shair & Partners)on the overhaul of the ports infrastructure at Mukhalla in Hadramout. The likeliest outcome of talks is a decision to build a new port to serve the city, located near the airport.
  • Multinational group set for rail study

    A consortium of Canada's CPCS Transcom, Holland Rail Consultand Beirut-based Dar al-Handasah (Shair & Partners) is the frontrunner for the contract to carry out a one-year feasibility study into modernising the kingdom's rail network. A contract award is imminent following the completion of evaluation of technical and financial proposals, Transport Ministry officials say. The study will take a broad look at the existing network and assess finance options and e
  • Muscat signs US FTA

    Commerce & Industry Minister Maqbool bin Ali Sultan and US trade representative Rob Portman concluded the US-Oman free trade agreement (FTA) by video conference on 3 October following seven months of negotiations. The formal signing will take place within 90 days (MEED 9:9:05).
  • Mushrif wins township work

    The local Mushrif Trading & Contracting Companysigned on 2 October the contract, worth KD 14.2 million ($49 million), to design and build infrastructure works on sector 1 of the Saad al-Abdullah township. Mushrif was low bidder out of six bidders when quotes were submitted in early September. The contract covers infrastructure work for about 700 residential plots. It includes construction of roads, a stormwater drainage network, mosques and a sewerage system. The client is the Public
  • Mushrif wins township work

    The local Mushrif Trading & Contracting Companysigned on 2 October the contract, worth KD 14.2 million ($49 million), to design and build infrastructure works on sector 1 of the Saad al-Abdullah township. Mushrif was low bidder out of six bidders when quotes were submitted in early September. The contract covers infrastructure work for about 700 residential plots. It includes construction of roads, a stormwater drainage network, mosques and a sewerage system. The client is the Public
  • Nakata works on Green Zone masterplan

    US-based Nakata Planning Grouphas completed the masterplan for the redevelopment of the International Zone, formerly the Green Zone in Baghdad. The 120-day contract, awarded by the US Air Force Centre for Environmental Excellence, focused on devising a detailed plan for the 2,000-acre area once military forces pull out. The zone will become the hub of the government. The first buildings to be handed over to the government comprise the Al-Rasheed hotel and the convention centre. Work
  • Nakata works on Green Zone masterplan

    US-based Nakata Planning Grouphas completed the masterplan for the redevelopment of the International Zone, formerly the Green Zone in Baghdad. The 120-day contract, awarded by the US Air Force Centre for Environmental Excellence, focused on devising a detailed plan for the 2,000-acre area once military forces pull out. The zone will become the hub of the government. The first buildings to be handed over to the government comprise the Al-Rasheed hotel and the convention centre. Work
  • Nakheel comes up Trumps with new JV

    Local property developer Nakheel has signed a joint venture agreement with US-based real estate firm The Trump Organisation to launch various projects across the region. Its first project will be the luxury Palm Trump International Hotel and Tower located in the heart of Palm Jumeirah next to the Golden Mile. The tulip-shaped building will be a mixed-use hotel and residential tower with a concert hall and retail space at the base. The project replaces the Pinnacle tower,
  • Nakheel comes up Trumps with new JV

    Local property developer Nakheel has signed a joint venture agreement with US-based real estate firm The Trump Organisation to launch various projects across the region. Its first project will be the luxury Palm Trump International Hotel and Tower located in the heart of Palm Jumeirah next to the Golden Mile. The tulip-shaped building will be a mixed-use hotel and residential tower with a concert hall and retail space at the base. The project replaces the Pinnacle tower,
  • Nakheel to provide PMS at International City

    Local developer Nakheelhas taken over the project management role at its International City project. Germany's Drees & Sommerhad been providing project management services (PMS) on the estimated $1,900 million project. Contractors have submitted bids for packages 13 and 14, and the bid deadline for package 7 has been extended to late October. All three packages call for the construction of about 30 buildings and landscaping works. The consultant is Lebanon's Assoc
  • Nakheel to provide PMS at International City

    Local developer Nakheelhas taken over the project management role at its International City project. Germany's Drees & Sommerhad been providing project management services (PMS) on the estimated $1,900 million project. Contractors have submitted bids for packages 13 and 14, and the bid deadline for package 7 has been extended to late October. All three packages call for the construction of about 30 buildings and landscaping works. The consultant is Lebanon's Assoc
  • Nasr City fixed network to be expanded

    Germany's Siemens has started work on the estimated £E 40 million-60 million ($7 million-10 million) contract to expand the outside plant copper cable network in Al-Nasr City operated by state-owned operator Telecom Egypt (TE). Under the deal, signed in September, Siemens will install an additional 120,000 phone lines over a period of 15-16 months. TE has also taken steps towards launching an initial public offering (IPO) in the first half of 2006, by announcing a 1:10 st
  • NCB draws down its first EMTN funds

    National Commercial Bank (NCB)has staged the first drawdown in its euro medium-term note (EMTN) programme. The $700 million issue was lead managed by Deutsche Bankand UBS. The coupon on the five-year paper was 32 basis points (bp) over Libor and the issue price was 99.866 per cent, giving a margin of 35 bp. The total size of the programme will be $1,500 million. Fitch has assigned the notes a long-term A and a short-term F1 rating.
  • New airport gets bigger and bigger

    The New Doha International Airport (NDIA) Steering Committee has given the go-ahead for work to begin immediately on phase 2 of the landmark development. Phase 2 which is expected to cost an estimated $1,200 million, will add a further 6 million passengers a year of capacity and on completion in mid-2009 will take overall capacity at the airport to 18 million passengers a year.
  • New airport gets bigger and bigger

    The New Doha International Airport (NDIA) Steering Committee has given the go-ahead for work to begin immediately on phase 2 of the landmark development. Phase 2 which is expected to cost an estimated $1,200 million, will add a further 6 million passengers a year of capacity and on completion in mid-2009 will take overall capacity at the airport to 18 million passengers a year.
  • New cement plant planned

    The local Khaleej Finance & Investment (KFI)has signed a joint venture agreement with Bahrain Motor Companyto establish a cement plant in the Hafeera industrial area at an estimated cost of about $45 million. The project company is called Falcon Cement Companyand India's Ercom Engineersis the consultant. Construction is due to begin in early 2006. KFI will arrange the financing. With local demand for materials rising fast, Star Cement Bahra
  • New development planned for Verdun

    The local Khatib & Alami (K&A)and Seattle-based Callison have been appointed to prepare the concept design for the estimated $100 million Verdun 5 development in Beirut. To be built on a plot in Beirut's Verdun district, the scope of works includes a commercial zone with a department store covering 6,000 square metres, a 12-screen Cineplex, restaurants, retail outlets and a possible ice skating rink. A 20-storey residential tower with parking for up to 1,800 cars is also
  • New development planned for Verdun

    The local Khatib & Alami (K&A)and Seattle-based Callison have been appointed to prepare the concept design for the estimated $100 million Verdun 5 development in Beirut. To be built on a plot in Beirut's Verdun district, the scope of works includes a commercial zone with a department store covering 6,000 square metres, a 12-screen Cineplex, restaurants, retail outlets and a possible ice skating rink. A 20-storey residential tower with parking for up to 1,800 cars is also
  • New Emirates Bank CFO

    Sanjay Uppal has been appointed chief financial officer (CFO) of Emirates Bank Group. He joins the bank from Standard Chartered Bank, where he was regional CFO for wholesale banking business in the Middle East and South Asia.
  • New governor for Medina

    Prince Abdul Aziz bin Majid has been appointed governor of Medina. He succeeds Prince Abdul Majid. Talking to reporters after inaugurating a charitable residential project in Nabah village, he said: 'The Holy city will witness the launch of several development projects in the coming years. A number of strategic studies are under way.'
  • New investment bank formed

    Al-Mal Capital, a greenfield investment bank capitalised at AED 333 million ($90.7 million), has completed its formation procedures. The company has already received a licence from the Central Bank of the UAE. Capital has been raised from 82 founder shareholders, including Dubai Investments, Global Investment Houseand Arab Jordan Investment Bank. Naser Nabulsi, former chief executive officer of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), is chairman of
  • New Manama highway planned

    The UK's Atkinsis low bidder at BD 0.4 million ($1.1 million) for the design and construction supervision contract on a major road project in Manama, aimed at easing traffic congestion along the corniche in the Bahrain Financial Harbour area. Saudi Consulting Servicesoffered the second lowest price of BD 0.6 million ($1.6 million). The other bidders are Hyder Consultingand Scott Wilson, both of the UK, and New Zealand's Opus International C
  • New Manama highway planned

    The UK's Atkinsis low bidder at BD 0.4 million ($1.1 million) for the design and construction supervision contract on a major road project in Manama, aimed at easing traffic congestion along the corniche in the Bahrain Financial Harbour area. Saudi Consulting Servicesoffered the second lowest price of BD 0.6 million ($1.6 million). The other bidders are Hyder Consultingand Scott Wilson, both of the UK, and New Zealand's Opus International C
  • New private equity firm formed for the pre-IPO business

    The UAE's Economy & Commerce Ministry has granted initial approval for the establishment of Gulf Capital, a new AED 500 million ($136.2 million) private equity firm based in Abu Dhabi and aiming to do pre-initial public offering (IPO) business across the GCC. The chief executive officer is Karim el-Solh, former head of The National Investor (TNI).
  • New security chief for Lebanon

    The Lebanese cabinet appointed a new security chief on 4 October. Brigadier General Wafik Jizeeni will replace pro-Syria Jammil al-Sayyed as head of the General Security Directorate. 'This is an important step toward restructuring the security institutes,' Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said. 'Of course, we cannot fool people by saying that with the appointment the security situation has been brought under full control.' Brigadier General Shawqi al-Masri was named as chief of staff of the
  • Newspapers condemn UK, seek to break ties

    The Iranian conservative press called on 18 October for Tehran to break diplomatic ties with the UK after President Ahmadinejad accused London of involvement in two bombings in mid-October. 'Tolerating an imposed crisis is against our dignity,' said the hardline Kayhan newspaper, whose editor-in-chief was appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. 'We should start with mild reactions like closing the British embassy and eventually sever ties.' Pro-government Siyasat-e Rouz blamed L
  • Nine killed in Kurdistan car bombing

    Nine people have been killed and six injured by a series of bomb explosions in the largely-Kurdish city of Sulaymaniyah in northeastern Iraq. Six members of the Kurdish pershmerga and three civilians were killed by a suspected suicide car bomb explosion outside a provincial security ministry building. Four others were injured by the blast.The incident followed an attack by a suicide car bomb attack on the convoy of Mullah Bakhtiar, a senior official in the Patr
  • NISOC to extend Aghajari

    National Iranian Southern Oil Company (NISOC)has asked bidders to extend their bid bond validity by one month and confirm the composition of their bidding groups for the Aghajari gas reinjection programme. Bids were submitted for the project in February, but the client has come under pressure over whether local companies can lead the bidding groups - a question that most industry analysts believe cannot be answered until a new oil minister is appointed (MEED 10:6:05).
  • Nizwa sewerage work out

    The local WJ Towell & Companyis low bidder at RO 11.7 million ($30 million) for the upgrade and rehabilitation of Nizwa's sewage treatment plant (STP) and sewerage network. Its price is 4.3 per cent lower than the RO 12.2 million ($31.3 million) offered by India's Larsen & Toubro (L&T). The other bidder is the local Hassan bin Juma bin Baker Trading & Contractingat RO 18.8 million ($48.2 million). The scope of works includes supply and installation of 94 kilom
  • No deal with the US, says Damascus

    Syria has no intention of giving in to Washington's demands in order to avoid a standoff with the superpower, Damascus said on 18 October. The statement came only days after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice travelled to the UK, France and Russia in an attempt to mobilise support for tougher action against Syria and Iran.
  • No new Palestinian government

    Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei said on 12 October that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would not appoint a new cabinet, despite demands from the Palestinian Legislative Council. Abbas does not have time to reshuffle his cabinet before the end of November, when candidates will register for January legislative elections, Qurei said. A transitional government will take over then as candidates are not permitted to sit in government.Security forces mounted a search for t
  • NPCC bids low for transmission line

    The local National Power Construction Company (NPCC) has submitted a low bid of SR 334 million ($89 million) for a contract to supply and install a 115-kilometre-long, 380-kV overhead transmission line between Shouaiba and Jeddah. Its offer was about 4 per cent lower than the next quote of SR 348 million ($93 million) submitted by the local/Korean Middle East Engineering & Development Company (Meedco). No other company submitted bids by the 25 September deadline. Awards a
  • NRC releases Baiji work

    North Refineries Company (NRC)has invited contractors to submit bids by 1 December for the estimated lump-sum turnkey (LSTK) contract to rehabilitate the second lube processing unit at the 350,000-barrel-a-day (b/d) lube oil complex in Baiji. Located about 180 kilometres north of Baghdad, the 30-month scheme is expected to be worth about $70 million.
  • OCI: Great leaps forward

    Business success is generally accepted to be a combination of acumen, expertise and an ability to be in the right place at the right time. The Sawiris family, which owns 67 per cent of Egypt's Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), has been fortunate enough to be blessed with all three. Tracing its roots back to a company founded in 1950 by Osni Sawiris, father of current chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) Nassef Sawiris, the cement works owner and contractor is now one of the major play
  • OIB launches syndicated loan

    Syndication has been launched of a $150 million five-year loan for Oman International Bank, lead-arranged by Barclays Capital, Bank of Tokyo-Misubishi, Calyon and Mizuho Financial Group. The loan carries a margin of 37.5 basis points (bp) for the first three years and 40 bp for the final two. The commitment fee is 15 bp and on offer are tickets of $15 million, $10 million and $5 million, paying 30 bp, 25 bp and 20 bp.
  • Onshore Pearl work rolled out

    The Royal Dutch/Shell Grouphas issued for bid two new packages covering the construction of onshore facilities on its estimated $7,000 million integrated Pearl gas-to-liquids (GTL) project at Ras Laffan. Technical bids for both engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) packages are due to be submitted by 4 January, while commercial offers are scheduled to be returned by 23 February (MEED 23:9:05).
  • OPEC reduces demand growth forecast

    OPEC cut its estimated oil demand growth for 2005 on 17 October from 1.7 per cent to 1.4 per cent. The cartel predicted a demand increase of 1.2 million barrels a day (b/d) on 2004. OPEC's October report blamed sustained high oil prices. The oil price rose by $1.18 a barrel to hit $63.81 on the New York exchange and $1.17 in London to reach $60.65 as traders anticipated further US production disruption due to the continuing hurricane season. But OPEC said lost US production, strikes in the
  • Operator sought for Dubai light rail

    Dubai Municipality (DM) is planning to issue a tender for the operation of the Dubai light rail transport (LRT) system in mid-November. The move comes after the Dubai Rapid Link (DURL)consortium led by Japan's Mitsubishi Corporationreceived a notice to proceed and begin construction on the $3,400 million project (MEED 16:9:05).
  • Options placed for AKG-2 work

    Two engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) packages awarded on 22 September for the RasGas III project are understood to contain options for the successful bidders - a joint venture of Japan's Chiyoda Corporationand Paris-based Technip, and Jebel Ali-based J Ray McDermott Middle East- to carry out the main EPC packages on phase 2 of the Al-Khaleej gas development (AKG-2) scheme. Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company (RasGas)is responsib
  • Orascom plans Kamarn resort

    Cairo-based real estate development company Orascom Hotels & Development (OHD), part of the Orascom Group, is in advanced negotiations with Sanaa to establish and develop a major tourist resort on the 130,000-square-metre Kamarn island and free zone. The masterplan for the scheme has been approved by President Saleh and OHD is in the process of establishing a project company with the local Hayel Saeed Group. Construction work is not expected to begin before 20
  • Orascom plans Kamarn resort

    Cairo-based real estate development company Orascom Hotels & Development (OHD), part of the Orascom Group, is in advanced negotiations with Sanaa to establish and develop a major tourist resort on the 130,000-square-metre Kamarn island and free zone. The masterplan for the scheme has been approved by President Saleh and OHD is in the process of establishing a project company with the local Hayel Saeed Group. Construction work is not expected to begin before 20
  • Oxy acquires Vintage assets

    The US' Occidental Petroleumhas acquired fellow US firm Vintage Petroleumfor $3,800 million, gaining a 75 per cent interest in block S-1 in the An-Nagyah field. 'Vintage's second-quarter production in Yemen averaged nearly 4,000 barrels a day, and its assets, which are contiguous to Oxy's existing operations, offer attractive opportunities for future growth and synergies,' the company said in a statement. Oxy picked up block 75 in Sabatyn in Sanaa's latest bid round in Ju
  • Pakistanis line up for DSC towers

    Tenders for the main construction package on the estimated $110 million Rufi twin towers project at Dubai Sports City (DSC) are expected to be issued by mid-October. The towers are the latest in a raft of high-rise buildings planned for the DSC development. Work is scheduled for completion by mid-2008 (MEED 9:9:05).
  • Pakistanis line up for DSC towers

    Tenders for the main construction package on the estimated $110 million Rufi twin towers project at Dubai Sports City (DSC) are expected to be issued by mid-October. The towers are the latest in a raft of high-rise buildings planned for the DSC development. Work is scheduled for completion by mid-2008 (MEED 9:9:05).
  • Palestinian and Israeli officials meet ahead of summit

    Palestinian and Israeli officials met on 7 October to discuss the upcoming summit between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said both sides wanted to agree on key issues before the meeting, which is expected to take place in mid-October. 'We don't want a failed summit. We want a successful summit, we want to agree on substance,' Erekat said.Abbas said he plans to use the meeting to press f
  • Palestinian MPs call for new cabinet

    Palestinian members of parliament (MPs) voted on 3 October in favour of a new cabinet. The vote will force Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to select a new government by mid-October, which will serve until legislative elections in January. MPs stopped short of a formal censure motion that would have forced Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei to resign immediately. The vote came after a parliamentary committee presented a report highly critical of the worsening security situation in
  • Palestinian police take on Hamas

    Three people died in clashes between Palestinian police and Hamas militants in Gaza City on 2 October. More than 50 people were injured in the fighting that erupted when police stopped a car carrying Hamas members. The militant organisation said police were attempting to arrest Mohammed Rantissi, the son of the late Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantissi. 'Hamas bears full responsibility for the results of these acts and the serious violation of law and order and playing with the blood of our peo
  • Palestinian-Israel summit postponed

    The Palestinian Authority (PA) and Tel Aviv postponed on 10 October a planned summit meeting between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The two sides failed to come to preliminary agreements on Palestinian prisoner releases and the presence of Israeli troops in West Bank towns. 'The meeting could take place at the end of the month or at the beginning of next month, depending on the preparations,' Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah said. Abb
  • Pars LNG issues tender for gas plant

    About 10 groups of companies submitted expressions of interest in mid-October to Pars LNG for the midstream package on its liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, covering the construction of a gas processing facility at Assaluyeh. Estimated to be worth $900 million-1,000 million, the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract calls for the construction of a 1,000 million-cubic-feet-a-day gas treatment plant to supply feedstock for the proposed LNG plant to be built at Tom
  • PDC to cool Discovery Gardens

    The local Palm District Cooling (PDC)has been awarded an AED 500 million ($136 million) concession agreement to supply chilled water for theDiscovery Gardens residential project. The agreement calls for PDC to produce and distribute chilled water to a capacity of 126,000 tonnes. US-based Wilbur Smith Associatesis the infrastructure consultant for the entire project; local developer Nakheelis the client (MEED 14:1:05).
  • PDC to cool Discovery Gardens

    The local Palm District Cooling (PDC)has been awarded an AED 500 million ($136 million) concession agreement to supply chilled water for theDiscovery Gardens residential project. The agreement calls for PDC to produce and distribute chilled water to a capacity of 126,000 tonnes. US-based Wilbur Smith Associatesis the infrastructure consultant for the entire project; local developer Nakheelis the client (MEED 14:1:05).
  • Peremba takes GNPOC HQ contract

    Malaysia's Peremba Constructionhas been awarded the $68.5 million engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contract for the new Khartoum headquarters of Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC). The facility will consist of an 18-storey tower with office space of about 14,000 square metres, and a three-storey amenities building, over a total built-up area of about 10,000 square metres. Completion is due in January 2007. KEO Internati
  • Peremba takes GNPOC HQ contract

    Malaysia's Peremba Constructionhas been awarded the $68.5 million engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contract for the new Khartoum headquarters of Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC). The facility will consist of an 18-storey tower with office space of about 14,000 square metres, and a three-storey amenities building, over a total built-up area of about 10,000 square metres. Completion is due in January 2007. KEO Internati
  • Perini gets protection contract

    The US' Perini Corporationhas been awarded two task orders to design and build 55 overhead coverage systems across the country for projects under the auspices of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The 18-month contracts, valued in total at about $185 million, were placed under an existing contract to provide design-build construction related services within the US Central Command (Centcom) areas of operation. The structures will primarily provide protection from mortar attacks a
  • Petrochemicals: Taking the long view

    Even though the final contracts have still to be awarded on the $2,500 million Qatofin and Qatar Chemical Company (Q-Chem) II developments, attention is already turning in the corridors of Qatar Petroleum (QP) to the next wave of downstream capacity additions. With product prices high, increasing volumes of feedstock becoming available from the rapid development of the North field and existing producers racking in record profits, there has never been a better time to invest in Qatari petrochemic
  • Petrofac takes more Oudna work

    Lundin Netherlands has awarded two further contracts to UK-based Petrofac to provide engineering and procurement and project management services to modify a floating production, storage and offtake (FPSO) vessel. The FPSO will serve drilling needs at the offshore Oudna field. Field operator Lundin plans to drill the first production well by early 2006, as part of its full-field development project. According to a 3D seismic survey carried out in 1998, the field is estimated to
  • Piling under way at Port Saeed office

    The local/Turkish joint venture of Al-Habtoor Engineering Enterprisesand STFA Soil Group has begun piling works for a mid-rise office development in Dubai's Port Saeed area. The UK's Currie & Brownis acting as project manager. Dimensions Engineering Consultantsis the local consultant. ACICO International, an affiliate of Kuwait's Aerated Concrete Industries Company (ACICO), is the client.
  • Piling under way at Port Saeed office

    The local/Turkish joint venture of Al-Habtoor Engineering Enterprisesand STFA Soil Group has begun piling works for a mid-rise office development in Dubai's Port Saeed area. The UK's Currie & Brownis acting as project manager. Dimensions Engineering Consultantsis the local consultant. ACICO International, an affiliate of Kuwait's Aerated Concrete Industries Company (ACICO), is the client.
  • PMS sought for Al-Ain road project

    Al-Ain Municipality has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for project management services (PMS) on the AED 500 million ($136 million) scheme to convert the Al-Ain-Al-Wagan-Al Quoaa highway into a dual-carriageway. Four contractors, Al-Jaber Establishment, Saif bin Darwishand a company identified as Al-Fajr, all local, and Kuwait's Copri Construction Enterprisesare currently working on separate sections of the 175-kilometre upgrade, but the proje
  • PMS sought for Al-Ain road project

    Al-Ain Municipality has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for project management services (PMS) on the AED 500 million ($136 million) scheme to convert the Al-Ain-Al-Wagan-Al Quoaa highway into a dual-carriageway. Four contractors, Al-Jaber Establishment, Saif bin Darwishand a company identified as Al-Fajr, all local, and Kuwait's Copri Construction Enterprisesare currently working on separate sections of the 175-kilometre upgrade, but the proje
  • Post-hurricane falls continue oil prices

    Oil prices continued to fall back from the highs of September when hurricane Katrina and Rita caused the shutdown of US refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Crude fell marginally in the second week of October, with Spot Brent ending at $60.57 a barrel in London on 12 October, compared with $61.94 a barrel a week earlier. Any relaxation in supply concerns as US refineries and oil installations limped back online is likely to be tempered by ongoing concerns about long term capacity. In its weekly rep
  • PPA to invest in Riyadh IT park

    The Public Pension Agency (PPA) has announced plans to invest SR 2,000 million ($530 million) in a new IT park in Riyadh. Work is already under way on the scheme's design, with a view to opening the first phase by 2008.
  • Practical measures

    For three years, contractors and consultants in the Gulf have been enjoying the greatest construction boom ever seen in the region. And with oil prices fixed firmly above $60 a barrel and about $700,000 million of projects planned or under way in the GCC, Iran and Iraq, it is set to continue for the next five years and beyond (see table 1).
  • Preliminary polls indicate success for constitution

    Early counts from the referendum on Iraq's constitution indicated on 16 October that Iraqis had voted in favour of the draft document. 'All indications we are getting; are encouraging and positive for a 'yes' vote for this constitution,' Foreign Affairs Minister Hoshyar Zebari told CNN. 'So my guess is yes, it will be passed.' Electoral Commission head Hussain al-Hendawi said that turnout was 63-64 per cent. Sunni leader Saleh al-Mutlaq said he thought most Sunnis voted against the draft ch
  • Prequalifiers gear up for YanSab HDPE work

    A bid deadline of 21 November has been set for the contract to build the 500,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant at the Yanbu National Petrochemicals Company (YanSab)petrochemicals complex. At least five international contractors are understood to have been prequalified for the estimated $400 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. They include Uhdeof Germany, Snamprogetti and Tecnimont, both of
  • Prequals delayed for Khurais

    Companies are due to submit prequalifications by the extended deadline of 8 October for the main construction packages on the onshore Khurais oil increment programme. Handled by Saudi Aramco, the project is aimed at delivering 1.2 million barrels a day of new capacity by 2009. Total project costs, including drilling, are estimated at about $11,000 million (MEED 23:9:05).
  • Prequals in for Gasco pipeline

    Companies submitted prequalifications by 4 October to Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Company (Gasco) for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to supply and install a 36-inch-diameter, 50-kilometre-long gas pipeline from Habshan to Bu Hasa. A tender is due to be issued by late October for the estimated $35 million-40 million contract. The US' Fluor Corporation has carried out the front-end engineering and design (FEED) package. The pipeline will transport
  • Prequals in for Sur IWP

    Applications for prequalification have been submitted for the sultanate's first independent water project (IWP), serving the Sharqiyah region. According to the Tender Board, 10 companies applied. They are: Marubeni Corporation, Mitsui & Companyand Itochu Corporation, all of Japan; the US' GE Infrastructure Water & Process Technologies; AES Oasisand Palm Water, both Dubai-based; Singapore's Sembcorp; France's
  • Prequals kick off for mega mall

    Prequalification has started for the main contract to build the Mall of Arabia on the estimated $2,000 million City of Arabia project in Dubailand, with interested companies due to submit applications by 22 October. As a result of the mall's size, only joint ventures comprising a minimum of three contractors will be considered for the project. The mall is one of three main construction packages on the City of Arabia project. The client is the local I&M Galadari Group.
  • Prequals kick off for mega mall

    Prequalification has started for the main contract to build the Mall of Arabia on the estimated $2,000 million City of Arabia project in Dubailand, with interested companies due to submit applications by 22 October. As a result of the mall's size, only joint ventures comprising a minimum of three contractors will be considered for the project. The mall is one of three main construction packages on the City of Arabia project. The client is the local I&M Galadari Group.
  • Prequals out for Ajman hospital work

    The Ministry of Public Works & Housing (MPWH) has invited contractors to submit prequalification applications by 15 November for the planned expansion of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed hospital in Ajman. The scope of works includes construction of an additional two storeys with a built-up area of about 13,000 square metres for 130 rooms for women and children, three operating suites and administrative buildings. The ministry is looking to shortlist about five contractors before issuing a tender in Dec
  • Prequals out for Ajman hospital work

    The Ministry of Public Works & Housing (MPWH) has invited contractors to submit prequalification applications by 15 November for the planned expansion of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed hospital in Ajman. The scope of works includes construction of an additional two storeys with a built-up area of about 13,000 square metres for 130 rooms for women and children, three operating suites and administrative buildings. The ministry is looking to shortlist about five contractors before issuing a tender in Dec
  • Prequals out for UAE university

    Contractors have been invited to prequalify by 5 October for the $300 million-400 million UAE University campus project being promoted by the local Mubadala Development Company. The move follows the decision by Mubadala to set up Al-Hikma Development Company, ajoint stock company charged with developing and operating the university. Al-Hikma has an initial capital of AED 10 million ($3 million). The 290,000-square-metre campus, to be implemented under a 28-year build-own-
  • Prequals out for UAE university

    Contractors have been invited to prequalify by 5 October for the $300 million-400 million UAE University campus project being promoted by the local Mubadala Development Company. The move follows the decision by Mubadala to set up Al-Hikma Development Company, ajoint stock company charged with developing and operating the university. Al-Hikma has an initial capital of AED 10 million ($3 million). The 290,000-square-metre campus, to be implemented under a 28-year build-own-
  • Pressure builds ahead of constitution vote

    Shia and Kurdish leaders made a last-ditch attempt on 10 October to gain Sunni support for the draft constitution that will go before a national vote in five days. US ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad was also involved in talks with Sunni representatives. 'There are intense talks going on. They are trying very hard to see if they can make last-minute changes for the Sunni Arabs,' said Kurdish constitutional drafting committee member Mahmoud Othman. 'The US and the Iraqi leaders, everyone
  • Pressure resumes for Tehran to negotiate

    Washington and Paris piled pressure on Tehran on 14 October to resume negotiations over its nuclear programme. 'We hope the Iranians will return to the table; but one thing that is very clear is the Security Council is an option,' said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. 'The Iranians need to get involved in negotiations and restore the confidence of the international community that they are not trying to build a nuclear weapon,' she said after a meeting with French officials. Washingto
  • Prices fall, but worries linger

    Spot Brent prices stepped down to $63.18 a barrel in London on 28 September, compared with $64.20 a barrel a week earlier. However, the oil markets continued to remain jittery with looming shortages in products and refineries yet to complete a full assessment of the damage caused by Hurricane Rita.
  • Prisoner release marks October war

    Cairo released more than 860 prisoners on 6 October to mark the anniversary of the start of the 1973 Arab-Israeli conflict. Most of those freed were imprisoned for dodging military conscription. 'This victory has moved us from liberating captured land to a similar liberation in our political life and national economy. The October victory was, and still is, a watershed in the history of the homeland,' President Mubarak said in a televised speech. The occasion is usually marked with the relea
  • Proposal due for DZ plant

    A proposal is due to be submitted to Al-Khafji Joint Operations, the 50:50 joint venture of Kuwait Gulf Oil Companyand Saudi Arabia's Aramco Gulf Operations, by 12 October from a group of sponsors led by Kuwait Finance House (KFH) for a planned petrochemicals plant in the Divided Zone. The facility will use flared gas from the area. With the exception of the power island, the companies involved and the configurations are the same as for the integra
  • PSE to go public

    Palestine Development and Investment Company (Padico)and the local Samedplan to sell off 50 per cent of the Palestine Securities Exchange (PSE) through an initial public offering (IPO) by early December. Padico holds an 80 per cent stake, which will be reduced to 40 per cent, and Samed's 20 per cent share will drop to 10 per cent. The move comes on the heels of the appointment in August of former deputy minister of finance Atef Alawneh as chief executive officer at the newly f
  • Qatar Financial Centre: One of a kind

    A new financial hub was created on 29 September when Ansbacher, the recently acquired private banking subsidiary of Qatar National Bank, became the first institution to receive a licence to operate in the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC). According to those in charge, it is destined to be the first of many. 'We have already received a large number of applications,' says Phillip Thorpe, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA), the independ
  • Qatar National Bank: Local clout

    For an indication of the general buoyancy of the local financial sector, one need look no further than the fortunes of Qatar National Bank (QNB). Record profits, a debut acquisition abroad and growing capabilities in areas such as Islamic banking and project finance all point to the institution's health and ambition. QNB, which holds more than 50 per cent of market share in terms of assets, saw profits leap by 29 per cent over the course of 2004 and by a staggering 71 per cent year on year in th
  • Qatargas 3 MLAs appointed

    A 26-strong group of mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) has been appointed on the commercial debt package for the integrated Qatargas 3 liquefied natural gas (LNG) project. Societe Generale (SG)is acting as financial adviser (MEED 9:9:05).
  • Qatofin EPC awards near

    Evaluation of commercial bids is under way at the local/French Qatofin for two engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts on its polyethylene plant project at Mesaieed. Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), Italy's Snamprogettiand Germany's Lindeare competing for the main plant contract, which covers the construction of a 450,000-tonne-a-year linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant. An award is expected in November (MEED 2:9:05). Bidd
  • QFC issues maiden licences

    The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) has issued its first two licences. Ansbacher, the private banking, wealth management and private equity subsidiary of Qatar National Bank, won the first licence to carry out regulated services. BDO JawadHabib Consultingwas granted the first licence to carry out non-regulated activities. 'We have already received a large number of applications,' Phillip Thorpe, chairman and chief executive officer of the Qatar Financial Centre R
  • Quartet representative criticises Gaza crossing delays

    James Wolfensohn, the special representative for the quartet - the EU, Russia, the UN and the US - sponsoring the Middle East peace roadmap, has criticised Israel for delays in opening its border crossings with the Gaza Strip, following Tel Aviv's withdrawal from the territory in September. His comments were made in a letter to the quartet. 'In substance, the parties are not far from agreement, but they are finding that old habits die hard,' Wolfensohn wrote. 'The government of Israel, with
  • Quiet in Gaza after clashes

    Clashes between Palestinian police and militants in Gaza ended on 4 October. 'Things are calm and we hope that everyone will respect the law and public order,' said Interior Ministry spokesman Tawfiq Abu Khossa. The streets in Gaza City were quiet as Ramadan got under way and few people were seen with weapons. The Interior Ministry has been trying to enforce a ban on carrying arms in public but has met resistance from militant groups.Israeli troops killed a Palestinian woman
  • Rabat benefits from EU funding

    The European Commission will allocate Eur 133 million ($166 million) to co-operation with Rabat under its 2005 national funding plan. The funds will help finance programmes covering substandard housing, the development of the northern provinces, support of professional associations, rural development in the central Atlas region, support for the national plan on democracy and human rights, and schemes in line with the EU Association Agreement. The support package is part of the Euro-Mediterranean
  • Rabat completes fixed-line liberalisation

    Telecoms regulator Agence Nationale de Reglementation des Telecommunications (ANRT) in late September completed the process of fixed-line liberalisation with the award of a limited mobility licence to the local Maroc Connect for MD 306 million ($34 million). The company has committed to invest almost MD 1,000 million ($112 million) during the first year. The award completes a process that began with the launch of fixed-line tenders in late February.
  • RAK EG complex nears

    Plans to build a new petrochemicals complex in Ras al-Khaimah (RAK), which will receive ethylene feedstock from Iran, are slowly taking shape. The RAK government is in final negotiations with Iran's National Petrochemical Company (NPC)to seal a joint venture agreement to carry out the scheme, which will be undertaken by a new project company known as Ittihad Investment Company, a subsidiary of the newly created RAK Petroleum Company (RPC - MEED 3:6:05).
  • RAK road work out to bid

    The Public Works & Housing Ministry has invited companies to bid by 24 October for the contract to rehabilitate the road linking Ras al-Khaimah (RAK) airport with Ras al-Khaimah seaport. The estimated $35 million contract calls for upgrading of 23 kilometres of highway, four interchanges and associated landscaping work. The UK's Halcrowis the consultant on the 18-month contract.
  • RAK road work out to bid

    The Public Works & Housing Ministry has invited companies to bid by 24 October for the contract to rehabilitate the road linking Ras al-Khaimah (RAK) airport with Ras al-Khaimah seaport. The estimated $35 million contract calls for upgrading of 23 kilometres of highway, four interchanges and associated landscaping work. The UK's Halcrowis the consultant on the 18-month contract.
  • Rakbank bond offering complete

    The inaugural $200 million, five-year floating rate bond offering by National Bank of Ras al-Khaimahclosed in late September oversubscribed by more than 150 per cent. The euro medium-term notes (EMTNs) have been listed on the London Stock Exchange with a fixed margin of 55 basis points (bp) over Libor, with the distribution of investors roughly divided between Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Standard Chartered Bankand National Bank of Abu Dhabiwere joint arr
  • Ramallah hotel back on track

    Arab Hotels Company (AHC)will resume construction of its long-delayed $22 million five-star hotel in Ramallah in mid-October following the acquisition of 2 million of its shares by Kuwait's Global Investment House. The $3 million deal will provide the finance to complete the 189-room hotel in the West Bank city, to be operated by Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts. AHC will issue tenders for the remaining construction work, expected to take 16 months, by the end of 2005.
  • Ramallah hotel back on track

    Arab Hotels Company (AHC)will resume construction of its long-delayed $22 million five-star hotel in Ramallah in mid-October following the acquisition of 2 million of its shares by Kuwait's Global Investment House. The $3 million deal will provide the finance to complete the 189-room hotel in the West Bank city, to be operated by Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts. AHC will issue tenders for the remaining construction work, expected to take 16 months, by the end of 2005.
  • RasGas III: Thriving on the North field

    Alex Dodds has been a busy man recently. The new managing director of Ras-Gas has hardly had a moment to spare since taking over the helm from Jerry Wolahan on 1 February. Plant inaugurations and conference speeches have had to be squeezed into his daily job of managing the world's fastest growing liquefied natural gas (LNG) company and overseeing the biggest single project in Qatar's history, the $13,000 million integrated RasGas III scheme.
  • Real estate: Overloading the bandwagon

    Durrat, Amwaj, Al-Areen, Lulu, Golf Views - the list of enticingly named real estate projects goes on. Bahrain is witnessing a real estate boom, as investors - especially Islamic ones - seek to plough their copious funds into bricks and mortar, while cashing in on the kingdom's liberal atmosphere.
  • Recent reports reflect the Gulf's competitiveness

    The UAE and Qatar are the region's top performers in the recently released World Economic Forum's Growth Competitiveness Index (GCI) for 2005, ranking 18th and 19th respectively. They were followed by Kuwait in 33rd and Bahrain in 37th place. According to the report: 'The authorities have proven reasonably adept at not squandering the gains from higher oil prices, but, rather, are using these resources to reduce debt, to invest, and to save.' In another report, Saudi Arabia was the highest ranki
  • Referendum audit discounts fraud

    Iraqi officials denied on 18 October that there was evidence of fraud in the national referendum on the draft constitution. Iraq's Electoral Commission said that it will examine 'unusually high' results from regions showing 90 per cent voted for or against the charter. The commission said the audit was in line with international standards. 'It's not surprising where you have 95 per cent, for example, in Najaf; but we have to check,' commission member Farid Ayar said. 'If there is any result
  • Referendum results not released

    Iraqi election officials said on 21 October that constitutional referendum results would not be announced soon. 'Definitely not today. And perhaps not even tomorrow. I can't say exactly when it will be,' said electoral commission official Adel al-Lami. The Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq is recounting some of the votes in provinces with extraordinarily high or low results. The UN wants turnout figures and results to be checked (
  • REFINING:What the market wants

    The Jamnagar refinery in the western Indian state of Gujarat is already considered to be the world's largest grassroots refinery, and work is under way by employees of the US' Bechtel on front-end engineering and design (FEED) work to double capacity. Costing $4,000 million, the 1.2 million-barrel-a-day (b/d) facility is being designed to process a variety of crudes. The final products will be in line with ever-tightening international specifications for oil products.
  • Regional approach to immigration problem needed, senior diplomat tells UN

    The senior Moroccan diplomat to the UN on 27 October called for a regional approach to address the problem of illegal immigration in the kingdom.'Curbing illegal immigration, fighting criminal immigration networks and protecting their victims ask for a dialogue at the bilateral, regional and international levels, in line with international commitments, ' said Mohammed Bennouna, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, speaking before the second commission of the Gen
  • Remaining Sharq packages signed

    Jubail-based Eastern Petrochemical Company (Sharq) has announced the signing of the three remaining engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) packages on the third-phase expansion of its polyethylene complex in the Eastern Province. The three contracts, totalling more than $1,000 million, cover the construction of: the 1.3 million-tonne-a-year (t/y) ethane/propane cracker, for which the UK's Stone & Webster, part of US-based Shaw International, was issue
  • Revised bids in for Hawiyah subcontract

    Fresh prices were submitted in early October for the mechanical, electrical and instrumentation (MEI) subcontract on package 2 of the Hawiyah natural gas liquids (NGL) project, following minor changes in the scope of works. At least three companies - Turkey's Tekfen, Lebanon's Contracting & Trading Company (CAT) and Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) - priced the estimated $150 million-200 million contract. Prices were originally
  • Revised prices in for styrene plant

  • Revised prices in for styrene plant

    Revised prices were submitted on 16 October for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract covering the styrene monomer plant at the Olefins II petrochemical complex in Shuaiba. Three companies and groups - South Korea's Daelim Industrial Company, US-based ShawInternationaland a US/South Korean joint venture of Foster Wheeler and Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company - submitted revised bids. The same three submitted
  • RFP out for Baghdad electricity work

    The Project & Contracting Office (PCO) has issued a request for proposals (RFPs) for an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) multiple award task order contract for work on Baghdad's 33-kV-400-kV networks, inviting interested parties to submit proposals by 25 October. Each individual task order will be worth $200,000-$3 million, with the total one-year programme value estimated at more than $80 million. The contract will incorporate a representative seed project on which all proposals
  • RFQs in for brownfield IWPP

    Requests for qualification (RFQs) have been submitted to the Ministry of National Economy for the sultanate's brownfield independent water and power project (IWPP). The government's schedule sees a request for proposals (RFP) being issued in mid-late October with responses due towards the end of the first quarter of 2006.
  • RGD formally awarded

    The US' Foster Wheeler Italianahas been formally awarded the $112 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract by Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco)on the refinery gas desulphurisation (RGD) project. The scheme involves the installation of a 220-tonne-a-day sulphur recovery unit, a tail gas treating unit, two sour water stripping units, an olefinic gas treatment unit and low flow-off gas streams treatment. Completion is scheduled for the fourth quarter
  • Rice keeps quiet on Syria assault

    US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice refused to comment on 11 October on a media report that she quashed the idea of US military attacks on Syria. 'I'm not going to comment on internal deliberations in the administration,' Rice said. 'Don't believe everything you read,' she said in reference to a Newsweek report that said Washington had considered launching strikes against camps inside Syria where fighters train to join the insurgency in Iraq. The report said that Rice favoured diplomatic
  • Rice threatens Damascus with international action

    US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on 16 October that Damascus' behaviour warranted international action. Rice said Damascus intended to destabilise Lebanon and questioned Syrian adherence to UN resolution 1559, which calls for foreign troops to leave Lebanon and for militias to disarm. 'I think you will see over the next couple of weeks that we will have to address these issues in a multilateral fashion,' she said. Damascus is 'out of step with the general trend toward democratisa
  • Riyadh and Brussels talk gas feedstock

    Agreement has been reached between the EU and the kingdom on the contentious issue of natural gas feedstock subsidies, according to local media reports, after a visit by an EU delegation to the kingdom as part of a series of bilateral negotiations between the two in preparation for Riyadh's accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). However, an EU spokeswoman said on 12 October that a formal agreement still awaited. 'I'm not sure if you could call it an agreement,' she said. 'But you could
  • Riyadh recognises damage of high oil price

    King Abdullah said he would work to reduce oil prices in an interview broadcast by US channel ABC on 14 October. 'Without a doubt we have benefited financially [from high oil prices], but we believe that the damage to other countries is tremendous and we don't believe that the prices should be at these levels,' he said.King Abdullah also condemned Al-Qaeda as 'madness and evil, it is the work of the devil'. Riyadh will 'fight the terrorists and those who support them or condo
  • Riyadh relaxes visa rules

    Riyadh has announced wide-ranging changes to its visa regulations, as part of its drive to encourage foreign investment in the kingdom. Under new rules announced on 20 September, 11 categories of professional will be granted either business or tourist visas without the need for an invitation by a local sponsor. They include owners, chairmen, board members and directors-general of international companies, investors, engineers and technicians. Entry visas will be granted to representatives of inte
  • Riyadh rolls out tourist visas

    Riyadh is set to introduce tourist visas for the first time by mid-November. Speaking to MEED in early October, Prince Sultan bin Salman, secretary-general of the Supreme Commission for Tourism, said: 'The tourism visa issue has been cleared up totally. The plans have been signed by the Interior Ministry and the Foreign Affairs Ministry and agreements have been reached with companies. It should be up and running in 30 days.'
  • Riyadh rolls out tourist visas

    Riyadh is set to introduce tourist visas for the first time by mid-November. Speaking to MEED in early October, Prince Sultan bin Salman, secretary-general of the Supreme Commission for Tourism, said: 'The tourism visa issue has been cleared up totally. The plans have been signed by the Interior Ministry and the Foreign Affairs Ministry and agreements have been reached with companies. It should be up and running in 30 days.'
  • Riyadh starts clinic roll-out

    The Health Ministry is evaluating bids for a contract to build 420 primary health care clinics in the kingdom. Four local companies have priced the estimated SR 1,500 million ($400 million) contract, which involves the construction of 180 clinics in the southern and western regions, 107 in the north and east and the remaining 133 in the central region. All the clinics will be single-storey buildings (MEED 8:7:05).
  • Riyadh starts clinic roll-out

    The Health Ministry is evaluating bids for a contract to build 420 primary health care clinics in the kingdom. Four local companies have priced the estimated SR 1,500 million ($400 million) contract, which involves the construction of 180 clinics in the southern and western regions, 107 in the north and east and the remaining 133 in the central region. All the clinics will be single-storey buildings (MEED 8:7:05).
  • Roads advisory awarded

    The UK's Hyder Consultingand the US' Parsons Global Services have each been awarded 50 per cent of the consulting work on the estimated BD 64 million ($168.4 million) first phase of the kingdom's roads masterplan to overhaul the increasingly stretched network. The two companies submitted the lowest bids for the entirety of the work when four prices were opened in May. The initial portion of the plan covers various junctions, flyovers and approach roads in the capital and
  • Roads advisory awarded

    The UK's Hyder Consultingand the US' Parsons Global Services have each been awarded 50 per cent of the consulting work on the estimated BD 64 million ($168.4 million) first phase of the kingdom's roads masterplan to overhaul the increasingly stretched network. The two companies submitted the lowest bids for the entirety of the work when four prices were opened in May. The initial portion of the plan covers various junctions, flyovers and approach roads in the capital and
  • Rockets follow Israeli raid

    Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad on 24 October fired at least three rockets into Israel in response to Tel Aviv's targeted killing of one of their top commanders.Loai Assadi, a West Bank leader of the group was killed along with fellow militant Majed al-Ashkar, following a raid on Tulkarem by Israeli defence forces on 23 October. Tel Aviv accused Assadi of masterminding suicide bombings that killed 10 Israelis since a truce was declared in February.Pale
  • Rockets, arrests and polls pressure Abbas

    Palestinians voted in the third round of local elections in the West Bank on 29 September as Tel Aviv continued its crackdown on militant groups. Earlier that day, Israeli troops killed three Palestinian militants in an arrest raid, including Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades local leader Samer Saadi in Jenin. Another two Islamic Jihad members were shot in nearby Birquin.
  • Russians to extend Arab Gas pipeline

    Russia's Stroytransgashas been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build a 324-kilometre pipeline from the Jordanian border to the Al-Rayan area east of Homs. The project also includes a spur to the existing power plant at Deir Ali. Construction is due to start in 2006. Syrian Gas Company (SGC) is the client. The pipeline is the first phase of the Syrian section of the Arab gas pipeline, which will carry Egyptian gas to Europe via Jorda
  • Sabic profits surge again

    Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) hasreported net profits of SR 14,700 million ($3,900 million) for the first nine months of the year, an increase of 54 per cent on the same period last year. The company reported profits of SR 4,800 million ($1,300 million) for the third quarter, an increase of 2 per cent on the corresponding period in 2004. 'Sabic's total production during the first nine months of 2005 stood at 34.6 million tonnes, an increase of 10 per cent over he production i
  • Saddam goes on trial for Shia massacres

    The trial of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein began on 19 October and was quickly adjourned to the end of November. Saddam and his seven co-defendants, who include his half-brother and former intelligence chief Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and former vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan, pleaded not guilty of crimes against humanity. The charges relate to the murder of more than 140 Shia men from Dujail in the early 1980s and include murder, torture and forced expulsion, which could carry the
  • Saddam takes the stand

    Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's trial gets under way
  • Sahara in JV's sights

    The Italian/South Korean joint venture (JV) of Tecnimontand Daelim Industrial Companyis understood to be in negotiations with the local Sahara Petrochemical Company for the contract to build its polypropylene (PP) and propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant in Jubail. An award is expected soon. Construction will take about two years.
  • Sahara to sign in 2006

    The Italian/South Korean joint venture of Tecnimont and Daelim Industrial Companyis expected to sign in mid-November an early works agreement for the contract to build the polypropylene (PP) and propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant in Jubail, following a review of contractual obligations. A final contract signing is due in February. In early September, the team received a letter of intent from the local Sahara Petrochemical Companyfor the estimated $610 million
  • Saifi Two takes shape

    The local Tabet Enterpriseshas been awarded the construction contract for the $65 million Saifi Village Two project near Martyr's Square in Beirut Central District. About five local companies bid for the project, including Karagulla Engineering & Contracting Company, Michel Abi Nader Entreprises (Man), Entreprises AR Hourie, and La Constructa. The development has a total built-up area of 45,000 square metres including four 10-storey apa
  • Saifi Two takes shape

    The local Tabet Enterpriseshas been awarded the construction contract for the $65 million Saifi Village Two project near Martyr's Square in Beirut Central District. About five local companies bid for the project, including Karagulla Engineering & Contracting Company, Michel Abi Nader Entreprises (Man), Entreprises AR Hourie, and La Constructa. The development has a total built-up area of 45,000 square metres including four 10-storey apa
  • SAMA paints rosy picture

    The economy grew by 5.3 per cent and the budget surplus hit $28,500 million in 2004, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA - central bank) said on 9 October. The balance of payments surplus was almost $52,000 million, SAMA governor Hamad al-Sayari said in his presentation of its annual report to King Abdullah. Al-Sayari put the third year of consecutive growth down to organisational reforms, oil revenues and rising investor confidence. He praised King Abdullah for 'channelling anticipated
  • Samsung signs NPPC deal

    South Korea's Samsung EngineeringCompany signed on 4 October the long-awaited engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build the National Polypropylene Company (NPPC)integrated propane dehydrogenation (PDH)/polypropylene (PP) facility at Jubail. The contract announcement follows the provisional selection of Samsung last year (MEED 20:8:04).
  • Saudi hones in on investment incentives

    Saudi Arabia wants to be in the top 10 recipients of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the next five years, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) governor Amr al-Dabbagh said on 17 October. Saudi Arabia is 38 on the World Bank's investment competitiveness ranking. Al-Dabbagh noted that Saudi Arabia is the largest recipient of FDI in the Arab world and investment licences approved in the second quarter of 2005 totalled SR 41,000 million ($10,931 million).Saudi Ar
  • Saudi-led group wins Karachi stake

    Islamabad has approved the sale of a 73 per cent stake in the state-owned Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC)to an investor consortium led by Saudi Arabia's AljomaihGroupfor $251 million. The group, which also comprises HassanAssociatesand PremierMercantile, both of Pakistan, matched the original high bid of Saudi Arabia's Kunooz al-Watan, which was submitted in early February but later withdrawn.
  • SCOP closes in on Kormor fields

    The local State Company for Oil Projects (SCOP)has received final technical and commercial prices for the engineering and procurement (EP) contract to build gas gathering and processing facilities at the Kormor field in the north. The move follows technical clarification meetings held in Jordan between SCOP and the bidders at the end of September. Ten local and international companies submitted bids in April for the estimated $70 million contract. The scope of works includes the cons
  • SCOP rethinks Nahrain refinery

    State Company for Oil Projects (SCOP), the engineering arm of the Oil Ministry, has decided to relocate the proposed 140,000-barrel-a-day (b/d) grassroots refinery at Nahrain to a new location near Karbala. The tender is one of two grassroots refinery projects out to bid (MEED 5:8:05).
  • SCOP tenders more Basra refinery work

    State Company for Oil Projects (SCOP)has invited companies to bid by 4 December for the complete electrical works package on the isomerisation and naphtha hydrodesulphurisation (HDS) units at Basra refinery. The engineering, procurement and supervision of installation contract covers the supply of cables, transformers, a diesel generator and complete electrical substation with all necessary switchgear. Originally built in 1948, Basra is one of the three major operational refineries on whi
  • Scores of Syrian judges get the sack

    President Asad dismissed 81 judges as part of a legal reform drive, Syrian daily Al-Thawra reported on 5 October. The president also increased judges' wages by 25 per cent and improved their tax and insurance conditions following a cabinet meeting on the reforms two days before. Paris has given Syrian financial aid to facilitate reform of the legal sector.
  • Security upped ahead of constitution referendum

    Baghdad announced heightened security measures on 9 October to help prevent violence around the national referendum on the draft constitution to be held in mid-October. The government will close Iraq's borders, impose a curfew, ban car travel and allow a four-day national holiday. The Iraqi army and US-led forces will be in charge of voting in restive Sunni areas. Arab League diplomats have arrived in Iraq to prepare for a conference on national reconciliation. 'The situation
  • Selection awaited for Misurata job

    A contractor selection is approaching for the project to build the 750-MW power plant at Misurata, after the client, General Electricity Company of Libya (Gecol), requested an extension of the bid validity bonds from three shortlisted bidders to late November. The three - South Korea's Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company, the US' Bechtel and a consortium of Black & Veatch, also of the US, and Turkey's Gama- were shortlisted for t
  • Selections made for GCC grid

    Dammam-based GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) has made preliminary awards on all the packages on the GCC electricity grid project. Negotiations with the client are expected to be completed by the end of October, when contracts are due to be signed.
  • Seven in line for Sirte

    Seven international contractors submitted bids in mid-September to the local Sirte Oil Company for two gas pipeline engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts worth a total of $270 million. The bidders are: Germany's MAN Ferrostaal; Athens-based Joannou & Paraskevaides (J&P - Overseas); Bonattiof Italy; Egypt's Petrojet; India's Punj Lloyd; US-based Willbros Group;and China Petroleum Engin
  • Shamil mandates banks for murabaha facility

    BNP Paribas, Boubyan Bankand GulfInternational Bank (GIB)have been mandated to lead arrange the $100 million, five-year amortising murabaha syndicated facility for Shamil Bank. Syndication was launched on 5 October, with profit mark-up benchmarked to six-month Libor. Commercial Bank of Qatar and Raiffeisen Zentralbankare the facility's sub-underwriters. Shamil launched its debut syndicated murabaha facility last year (MEED
  • Sharjah launches STP prequals

    Contractors have been invited to submit prequalification applications by 9 November for phase 7 of the Sharjah sewage treatment plant project. The latest expansion will call for the addition of 75,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d) of treatment capacity. Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC)with its UK subsidiary, ACWa Services, was awarded in 2002 phase 6, which involved the addition of 37,500 cm/d of capacity. The consultant on phase 7 is the UK's
  • Sharq debt package surfaces

    Banks have been asked to respond by the end of October to the request for proposals (RFP) on the debt package for the $2,500 million expansion programme of Jubail-based Eastern Petrochemical Company (Sharq). The sponsors are looking for $972 million in commercial debt, to be supplemented by a tranche in excess of $1,000 million from the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC).
  • Shaw withdraws from KFH project

    Kuwait Finance House (KFH) - Bahrain is talking to alternative contractors about building the ethane cracker on its integrated power, water and petrochemicals plant at Sitra, after the original company approached - Stone & Webster, part of the US' Shaw International- declined to submit a financial offer, citing stretched resources. Revised prices are due by the end of October for the combined front-end engineering and design (FEED) and engineering, procurement and constru
  • Ship financing sealed

    Financial close has been reached on a $320 million limited-recourse financing for the construction of two liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers under construction by South Korea's Samsung Heavy Industriesto serve the Qalhat LNGproject. The vessels will be owned 80 per cent by Oman Shipping Companyand 20 per cent by Japan's Mitsui OSK. The debt package is split about 50:50 between a 12-year commercial debt tranche, lead-arranged by BNP Paribas
  • Ships collide in Suez canal

    Cairo launched an inquiry on 18 October into a collision between two ships in the Suez Canal which killed two people and injured about 100. Most of the injured were Egyptian Umrah pilgrims whose passenger boat collided with a cargo ship. The accident occurred as the passenger ship waited to enter Port Tawfiq on its way from Jeddah. 'We concentrated on saving lives. The boat that carried people has sunk now. Thank God that we moved all the people from there,' said Transport Minister Isam Sha
  • Shortlisted consortia chase KHIA and logistics park

    Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC) is in the final stages of evaluating technical and financial proposals from shortlisted bidders for two separate logistics projects in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ). Three consortia are bidding for each contract, for which awards are expected by the end of October (MEED 2:9:05).
  • Shouaiba IWPP signing approaches

    The power and water purchase agreement (PWPA) on the Shouaiba independent water and power project (IWPP) is due to be initialled in the last week of October and signed in mid-November between Water & Electricity Company (WEC)and the preferred bidder, the local/Malaysian consortium of Acwapower, Malakoff Berhadand Tenaga Nasional Berhad. The debt financing package on the estimated $2,200 million project, which calls for the construction on a build-o
  • Shuqaiq attracts 24

    The prequalification shortlist is expected to be announced by the end of October on the second Water & Electricity Company (WEC) independent water and power project (IWPP) at Shuqaiq. Request for proposals (RFPs) documents are expected to be issued soon after. A total of 24 companies and groups responded to the request for qualification (RFQ) documents by the 17 September deadline, less than half the 53 companies to have expressed interest in the build-own-operate (BOO) project earli
  • Shuwaikh desal tender attracts only one bidder

    The fate of the 30 million-gallon-a-day (g/d) reverse osmosis (RO) seawater desalination plant project at Shuwaikh has been thrown into doubt after only one company submitted a bid for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.
  • Siemens, ABB share transmission upgrade

    Germany's Siemensand Europe's ABBhave been awarded the two turnkey contracts on phase 6 of the Qatar transmission programme, one of the biggest in the state's history. Siemens and its Indian subsidiary took the part 1 contract, which is valued at about $360 million, while ABB won part 2. Both companies declined to comment on the awards. The client is Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa - MEED 17:12:04).
  • Siemens/Nour win signalling work

    The German/local joint venture of Siemensand Nour Communications Companyreceived a letter of award on 30 September for the SR 429.8 million ($115 million) contract to install a new signalling system and a GSM railway (GSM-R) communications network along the existing Riyadh-Dammam freight and passenger lines. The client, the Saudi Railways Organisation (SRO), is expected to sign the contract by the end of October. Two other groups submitted bids last year (MEED 30:9:05; 17
  • Six in for RAK power plant

    Bids were due to be submitted in mid-October from six companies for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build a 130-MW grassroots power and desalination plant in Ras al-Khaimah's Al-Jazeera al-Hamra district. The project also includes a district cooling system. Prospective bidders are: the local Emirates Trading Agency (ETA); Japan's Hitachi Corporation; South Korea's Samsung Corporation; UK-based Wood Group; a company i
  • Skikda helium to take off from lower base

    Construction of a 600 million-cubic-feet-a-year (cf/y) helium plant at the Skikda liquefaction complex is almost complete, with the first gas feed to begin in mid-November and the first helium to be produced by the end of the year. However, initial production will be restricted to just under 60 per cent of the plant's capacity due to limited feedstock supplies from the Skikda liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, which was partly damaged in 2004 (MEED 23:1:04).
  • Sonatrach to appoint new agency heads

    State oil company Sonatrachis preparing to appoint the heads of two new independent bodies to take over some of its key responsibilities relating to the tendering of oil and gas licences and pipeline and storage contracts. The creation of the new bodies is part of the hydrocarbons law, formally introduced at the end of July (MEED 8:4:05, Cover Story). Under the terms of the law, a national agency for hydrocarbons resource valorisation, known as ALNAFT, will
  • Sonatrach to appoint new agency heads

    State oil company Sonatrach is preparing to appoint the heads of two new independent bodies to take over some of its key responsibilities relating to the tendering of oil and gas licences and pipeline and storage contracts. The creation of the new bodies is part of the hydrocarbons law, formally introduced at the end of July (MEED 8:4:05, Cover Story).
  • Sovereign ratings upgraded

    International rating agency Moody's Investors Service has upgraded the sultanate's long-term sovereign ceiling for long-term foreign currency bond and bank deposits to Baa1 from Baa2. The long-term foreign currency and domestic currency issuer ratings were also raised to Baa1. Moody's cited significant improvement in the country's economic fundamentals over the past few years, including sustained fiscal surpluses, a strengthened external position, strong gross domestic product (GDP)
  • Sparkling minerals

    Oil and gas will continue to dominate the economies of the Gulf for many years to come, but governments and private investors are beginning to look to other forms of mineral wealth. As a glance at their poorer neighbours reveals, there are considerable riches to be had. Sitting on 85,000 million tonnes of phosphates, Morocco is the undisputed king of the industry, generating a turnover of about $1,500 million from its mining operations. In Jordan, too, the exploitation of phosphate and potash de
  • Speaker denies accusations against Iran

    Iraq's parliamentary speaker Hajim al-Hasani denied on 6 October media reports that he had accused Tehran of the murder of two Shia clerics in Iraq in 2003. His office issued a statement that said the reports were 'irresponsible and without foundation' and that Al-Hasani had never met the source of the story.Kuwait's Al-Anbaa newspaper quoted Al-Hasani as saying: 'Baghdad has conclusive evidence of Iran's involvement in the assassination of Ayatollah Mohammed Baqr al-Hakim an
  • Stop-start for West Bank water

    A decision on whether to retender the design-build-operate (DBO) contract for the Hebron wastewater treatment plant is expected to be made by November following a review of project costs by the Palestinian Water Authority. US-based Morganti was the sole bidder for the estimated $45 million treatment plant, pumping station and reservoir (MEED 19:8:05). Jordan's El-Concord Companyhas been awarded the $72 million contract to build the Halhul-Dura-Yatta transmission system fu
  • Strong interest in new refinery project

    More than 20 international contractors are understood to have submitted prequalification applications by the 13 October deadline for the state's new 615,000-barrel-a-day (b/d) grassroots refinery at Al-Zour. Under the proposed bidding schedule, the client, state-owned refinery operator Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC), is expected to announce the prequalifiers by year-end. Invitation to bid (ITB) documents for the one-three engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) pack
  • Strong interest in Tunisie Telecom

    The level of interest in the acquisition of a 35 per cent share in state-owned fixed line operator Tunisie Telecomhas surpassed expectations, with 14 companies submitting expressions of interest (EoIs) by the 20 September deadline (MEED 9:9:05).
  • Studies complete for SAS

    Genesis Oil & Gas Consultants, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Paris-based Technip, is due to submit by early October a conceptual study and masterplan for the Sahil, Asab and Shah (SAS) full-field development project in Abu Dhabi emirate. The study will include an assessment of the surface production facilities and recommendations for an expansion, taking into account rising water cut and gas lift requirements (MEED 15:7:05).
  • Studies in for new export refineries

    Parsons E&C, part of Australia's WorleyParsons, submitted in mid-September a feasibility study to Saudi Aramcofor the construction of new export refineries in the kingdom. The study is understood to have recommended the utilisation of three process streams to be driven by a varying mix of feedstock.
  • Subiya causeway tender issue coming soon

    The tender for the long-awaited Subiya causeway scheme is expected to be issued by the end of November, according to a source close to the project. 'The documents are prepared, and are just waiting for final ministerial approval to go ahead with the project,' says the source. About eight of the 11 groups to have submitted prequalification applications are understood to have been prequalified for the estimated $1,500 million design-and-build contract, which has been delayed over political debate
  • Subiya causeway tender issue coming soon

    The tender for the long-awaited Subiya causeway scheme is expected to be issued by the end of November, according to a source close to the project. 'The documents are prepared, and are just waiting for final ministerial approval to go ahead with the project,' says the source. About eight of the 11 groups to have submitted prequalification applications are understood to have been prequalified for the estimated $1,500 million design-and-build contract, which has been delayed over political debate
  • Subiya process powers up

    Four international contractors have been invited to bid by 27 November for the contract to build a 1,500-MW power station at Subiya. The client, the Energy Ministry, is expected to make an award in the first quarter of 2006 on the two-year project.
  • Sub-Saharan immigrants mistreated by authorities, says report

    There are numerous irregularities in the treatment of migrants in the north of Morocco and the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, human rights group Amnesty International claimed on 26 October.According to a report published by the organisation after a 10-day fact-finding mission in the area, at least 11 people have been killed and dozens more injured in the last few weeks when confronted by Spanish and Moroccan authorities while trying to cross from Morocco into the Span
  • Substation development progresses

    The state's ongoing substation roll-out programme continued in September, with bids opened for two substation construction tenders, and an award made on a third.
  • Sudan: Developing Khartoum

    The area beside the confluence of the Blue and White Niles is known to the residents of Khartoum as Al-Mogran - 'the horn'. Composed primarily of mudflats, it has remained largely undeveloped for centuries, home only to nesting birds. While the capital has doubled in size over the past 15 years, the area has remained an oasis of calm on the edges of the heaving capital.
  • Suicide bomber kills five

    At least five people were killed and many more wounded on 26 October when a suicide bomber struck a marketplace in the northern coastal town of Hadera, in Israel. Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, saying that the attack was in revenge for the recent killing by Tel Aviv of its military commander in the West Bank, Louai Saadi. A ceasefire was agreed by Palestinian militant groups in March and relative calm has prevailed since the Israeli pull-out from the Gaza Strip in August.
  • Sun, sand and sea

    Although it brings in about $9,000 million a year in revenues and contributes about 5.4 per cent of national gross domestic product (GDP), Saudi Arabia's tourism industry is chronically underdeveloped. The sector is heavily skewed towards religious tourism and the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which brings the kingdom an estimated $3,700 million in foreign currency every year. Umrah pilgrims bring in a further $3,000 million a year. Of the estimated 15 million visitors to the kingdom in 2004, about 6.
  • Swissboring piles into Marina 23

    Swissboring, part of Italy's Trevi Group, has started piling works on the Marina 23 project in the Dubai Marina area. The 88-storey residential tower is being developed by Hircon International, a joint venture of the local ETA Starand India's A Hiranandani. The client had originally selected the local/Australian Nasa Multiplexto carry out the main contract, as well as provide construction management services. However, it altered
  • Swissboring piles into Marina 23

    Swissboring, part of Italy's Trevi Group, has started piling works on the Marina 23 project in the Dubai Marina area. The 88-storey residential tower is being developed by Hircon International, a joint venture of the local ETA Starand India's A Hiranandani. The client had originally selected the local/Australian Nasa Multiplexto carry out the main contract, as well as provide construction management services. However, it altered
  • Syria and Lebanon: Building on potential

    Talk of privatisation and economic liberalisation in the Levant tends to be associated with Beirut or Amman, but in one sector at least Lebanon's larger neighbour to the east is the one making steady progress. Damascus' state-run economy may still lag behind some of its more dynamic neighbours, but, with a growing population and low penetration rate, companies are starting to see the potential of its telecoms sector.
  • Syria: Coping with the cement capacity crunch

    Syria's efforts to reform its state-run economy and attract regional investors have run up against an all-too-solid stumbling block - a national shortage of cement. Real estate developers, especially from the UAE, are poised to start a number of high-profile developments in and around Damascus, but their plans are threatened by the shortage of cement.
  • Syrian soap tackles terrorism

    Syrian TV started to broadcast on 4 October a soap opera that will run through Ramadan and address the issue of terrorism. 'It's a work about society and the innocent victims of terrorism,' said the programme's director Najdat Anzur. 'The Arab world is going through a period that is not yet ready to face up to.' The 30-episode series called Al-Hoor el-Eine - or the Pure and the Beautiful - shows Jordanian, Lebanese, Moroccan and Syrian families living in Saudi Arabia who are affected by a t
  • Takreer eyes new refinery in Fujairah

    Plans for a new export refinery are taking shape, with Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (Takreer) proposing the construction of a worldscale facility in Fujairah. The grassroots refinery will have nameplate capacity of 300,000 barrels a day (b/d) and will be designed to process high-grade gasoline, diesel and related products. The UAE follows in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, all of which are implementing major grassroots refinery schemes to meet rising global demand
  • Talabani says Iraqi constitution sets benchmark

    Iraq has 'the best constitution in the region', according to Iraqi President Talabani. Calling the country a land of 'federal' democracy during a conference in London on 6 October, Talabani described the upcoming referendum on the constitution and elections due in December as milestones for the country and the Middle East ( MEED 5:10:05). The new constitution, although
  • Tariq Aziz will not testify against Saddam

    The lawyer for Tariq Aziz denied on 16 October that his client would testify against Saddam Hussein. Badie Izzat Aref described a report in UK newspaper the Daily Telegraph that said the former deputy prime minister would give evidence against Saddam as 'completely false'. Aref said he told the paper that Tariq Aziz was asked during questioning who took decisions on declaring war and putting down mutinies in Iraq. His client replied that 'sovereign and political decisions were in the hands
  • Tata and Al-Mashrik join forces

    The local Al-Mashrik Contracting Companyand India's Tata Projectshave signed a joint venture agreement to establish a new power sector contracting company. The new company, which has not yet been named, will work in the generation, transmission and distribution fields as well as on build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects. 'The launching of the new joint venture expresses the interest of both companies to enhance the fast-growing power market in the kingdom, which is a resul
  • TAV: Spreading its wings

    Travellers may not have heard of TAV before they enter Istanbul Airport's Ataturk International Terminal, but they will be well aware of the local company by the time they leave. The airport specialist's blocky blue-and-white logo is emblazoned on just about every available surface throughout the terminal, in a bold exercise in brand awareness. A relatively new - but extremely ambitious - company, TAV is seeking to expand its operations rapidly at home and internationally, particularly in the Mi
  • Technip takes Thamama C project

    Paris-based Technip has been selected for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract covering the proposed Thamama C gas debottlenecking project in Abu Dhabi emirate. Three other companies - the US/Canadian VECO, US-based Foster Wheeler and Australia's WorleyParsons- submitted commercial bids in mid-September for the six-month contract. Being handled by Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Company (Gasco), the project is aimed at increas
  • Technology sought for polystyrene project

    Plans are progressing at Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (ECHEM) to set up a major styrene/polystyrene complex near Alexandria as part of its 20-year masterplan for the petrochemicals sector.
  • Tecnimont/Daelim take Sahara PDH/PP

    The Italian/South Korean joint venture (JV) of Tecnimontand Daelim Industrial Companyhas received a letter of intent (LoI) from the local Sahara Petrochemical Company for the contract to build its polypropylene (PP) and propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant in Jubail. Contract signing on the $610 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) package, which will be awarded on a lump-sum turnkey (LSTK) basis, is expected soon. Construction will take abou
  • Tehran cancels Saudi visit

    Iran's Minister of Foreign Affairs Manouchehr Mottaki postponed a visit to Riyadh on 5 October because of a row over Iraq. Riyadh has accused Tehran of meddling in the affairs of Shia-dominated Iraq, but Tehran rejected the accusations. Mottaki was due to arrive in Saudi Arabia from Oman after visiting Kuwait and Bahrain.'Iraqis are complaining of interference by Iran. If there is indeed such interference, especially in provinces neighbouring Iran, that would be quite serious
  • Tehran considers new petrol pricing formula

    Tehran sought to introduce a new fuel pricing formula on 4 October, with the presentation of a draft bill to the Majlis (parliament). The bill outlines a pricing scheme under which each purchaser is entitled to a fixed subsidised petrol allowance. Drivers would pay full price for petrol once they exceed the allowance. The move is expected to prevent individuals from bulk buying fuel supplies and to reduce the possibility of petrol smuggling to Iran's neighbours. Petrol subsidies cost Tehran
  • Tehran willing to resume atomic talks

    Tehran said on 4 October that it is ready to resume discussions with the EU over its nuclear programme, which collapsed in August. 'Iran has no problem with resuming talks. But it will not accept conditional talks under pressure,' Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Hamed Reza Asefi said. 'Instead of sending mixed signals, the EU should practically show it is interested in talks.'The EU has said Tehran must suspend its recently resumed uranium enrichment activities and co-o
  • Tel Aviv cuts security contact with Palestinians

    Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said on 17 October that Tel Aviv had suspended contact with Palestinian security officials following the murder of three Israeli settlers by Palestinian militants. 'As a result of yesterday's attacks we are taking defensive action on the ground to prevent future occurrences,' Regev said. 'There is also a temporary suspension of contacts between the Defence Ministry and military personnel and Palestinian counterparts.' Tel Aviv has also r
  • Tel Aviv proposes West Bank separation

    Tel Aviv is planning to ban Palestinians from using major roads in the West Bank, Israeli officials and media said on 19 October. Israeli daily Maariv reported that the army has begun preparations to separate Palestinians and Israelis in the West Bank in light of the recent Palestinian militant murder of three Israelis near the settlement of Gush Etzion. 'This project has been in existence for some time and we will have no option but to implement it if the Palestinian Authority continues to
  • Tel Aviv repeats opposition to Hamas MPs

    Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Silvan Shalom reiterated on 19 October Tel Aviv's objection to Hamas standing in January Palestinian parliamentary elections. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is due to discuss the issue with US President Bush in Washington on 20 October. 'Do you call it interference when we try to prevent, at any price, the participation of an organisation which calls for the destruction of the state of Israel?' Shalom said on Israeli radio. '[Should we] co-ope
  • Telecoms: Coming of age

    It may only be three years old, but Bahrain's independent Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) can already stake a claim to being the elder statesman of the Gulf's gradually deregulating telecoms market. Since its inception, more than 90 licences for a wide range of services have been granted, with only two areas still restricted. And it has fought and overcome battles both with government and with squabbling competitors.
  • Ten invited for Yanbu gas plant expansion

    About 10 international contractors have been invited by Saudi Aramco to attend a job explanation meeting in Dhahran on 15 October for the project to expand the Yanbu gas plant. Tendering on the estimated $150 million-200 million project is expected to begin in November. The invitees include Daelim Industrial Companyand Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company, both of South Korea, US-based ABB Lummus Global, Taiwan's CTCI, Spain's Tecnica
  • Tender due for melamine PMC

    A tender is due to be issued by mid-October for a contract to provide project management consultancy (PMC) services on the proposed melamine plant at Ruwais. Estimated to cost $160 million, the proposed plant will have capacity of 80,000 tonnes a year. Milan-based Eurotecnica is due to complete the front-end engineering and design (FEED) package by December. The plant will be built beside the existing Fertil complex, which will supply urea feedstock to the new unit. The project is be
  • Tender issued for Abu Dhabi melamine plant

    Technical and commercials bids are due to be submitted by 10 November for a contract to provide project management consultancy (PMC) services on the proposed melamine plant at Ruwais. The prospective bidders include WorleyParsons of Australia, Canada's SNC Lavalinand Foster Wheeler, Fluor Corporation, Jacobs Engineeringand Stone & Webster, part of the Shaw Group, all of the US. An award is due by year-end (MEED 3
  • Tension mounts as referendum vote nears

    The Transitional National Assembly voted on 12 October to approve a quartet of last-minute amendments to the draft constitution. Iraqi and US officials had been in 11th-hour negotiations with Sunni representatives over the draft charter, which threatens to divide Iraq further down sectarian lines. In a breakthrough, established Sunni group the Iraqi Islamic Party agreed to a Shia-Kurdish proposal to permit the renegotiation of parts of the constitution after parliamentary elections in December.
  • Tension rises between Tehran and London

    Tehran said on 16 October that London was behind the bombings the day before which killed five people in Ahwaz, southwest Iran. 'We are very suspicious about the role of British forces in perpetrating such terrorist acts,' the student news agency ISNA quoted President Ahmadinejad as saying. 'Our people are very used to these kinds of incidents, and our intelligence agents found the footprints of Britain in the same incidents before,' he said. 'We think the presence of British forces in sout
  • The Peak Group wins drilling contract

    The UK's The Peak Grouphas been awarded an offshore drilling contract by Aberdeen-based Dana Petroleum. The deepwater well will be drilled on the Faucon prospect in block 1, about 210 kilometres offshore southern Mauritania. Work on the well, which will be drilled in approximately 1,200 metres of water, is scheduled to start in October. Faucon and another prospect, Petrel, each have the potential to contain more than 1,000 million barrels of oil, according to Dana.
  • The quest for investment

    When US private equity firm Capital Partners unveiled its plans for a huge real estate development in Dubai, many wondered what all the fuss was about. Mega projects are almost a daily occurrence in the emirate. However, as the first Western investor to put its money into the UAE real estate market, the $1,000 million RiverWalk scheme signals a new dawn for FDI in the region.
  • Three firms sign up for field studies

    More international oil companies (IOCs) have signed agreements to carry out field studies in various areas of the country. Ireland's Petrel Resourcesand the Oil Ministry signed on 5 October a framework case study agreement for the Merjan block. Petrel will undertake a seismic study over a 300-square-kilometre area surrounding the Merjan oil field, located about 50 kilometres west of Karbala. It will also provide technology and training courses.
  • Three in race for Gulf Air sale mandate

    Three banks are understood to be in the running for the mandate to advise on the privatisation of Gulf Air. They are BNP Paribas, HSBCand Standard Chartered Bank. The move to appoint a financial adviser follows the withdrawal in mid-September of Abu Dhabi from the airline to concentrate on the development of Etihad Airways, leaving Bahrain and Oman as the only remaining shareholders. However, it is also part of a longer process launched
  • Three shortlisted for Tinhert GTL

    Three international oil companies (IOCs) have been shortlisted by state energy company Sonatrachfollowing the submission of non-binding technical bids for the development of the estimated $2,500 million integrated oil and gas project, involving the construction of a greenfield gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant at Tinhert. Commercial bids are due by the end of June 2006 and an award will be made the same day following the public opening of bids (MEED 14:10:05).
  • Toyo to advise on projects

    Japan's Toyo Engineering Corporationhas won a contract to provide consultancy services to state-owned National Petrochemical Company (NPC)on seismic design for all new petrochemicals projects and those already under construction. The company has extensive experience of seismology because of Japan's own frequent exposure to tremors and can bring the most advanced earthquake technology to the table. Toyo is also in discussions to look at existing NPC facilities to ensure th
  • TRA shifts into action

    The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has begun a public consultation on the issue of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) in the federation. The regulator expects to report the findings of the consultation to the Supreme Committee for the Supervision of the Telecommunication Sector by the end of the year (MEED 27:5:05).
  • Tripoli hangs up on outside world

    Libya has marked the 1911 Italian invasion of the country by blocking all incoming international telephone calls. The so-called 'day of struggle' follows a 'day of vengeance' held on 7 October, which marked the expulsion of Italian settlers in 1970. Libya came under military occupation by Italy in 1911-12 before becoming an Italian colony in the 1930s. It gained independence in 1951 after a brief period of Franco-British administration under a UN mandate. Relations between the two countries
  • Tunisie Telecom shortlists 13

    The government announced on 7 October that it has prequalified 13 companies for the acquisition of a 35 per cent stake in state-owned fixed-line operator Tunisie Telecom. The share is worth an estimated Eur 1,300 million ($1,566 million). Tenders are expected to be issued by mid-October.
  • TV trial for Saddam

    The trial of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein may be televised, Iraq's chief judge Raed al-Juhi said on 13 October. 'The trial will be public,' he said. 'And I hope that it will be broadcast live on television.' International observers will be allowed to monitor the proceedings, which are expected to start in mid-October. Saddam's lawyer Khalil Dulaimi has said he will ask for a postponement because he has yet to be given full access to his client or details of the charges against him. Th
  • Two in for Persian LNG

    Two consortia are preparing to bid for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, known as Persian LNG, being sponsored by National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)in partnership with the Royal Dutch/Shell Groupand Spain's Repsol. Germany's Lindeis close to signing the contract to revise the FEED for a rival project, known as NIOC LNG (MEED 15:7:05).
  • Two provinces reject constitution

    The Sunni-dominated provinces of Salahuddin and Anbar have rejected the country's draft constitution, leaving the fate of the draft document balanced on a knife edge.Under electoral rules covering a referendum on the draft constitution, the document will fail if three out of the country's 18 provinces vote 'no' by two-thirds or more. Attention is now focused on the largely Sunni province of Ninevah where the result is due to be announced within two days. Diyala, another Sunni
  • UAE QUARRIES: Rocking on

    From the fine sand used for mixing concrete to giant boulders needed for reclaiming land from the sea, every construction project needs aggregate. With the Gulf construction market going through an unprecedented boom, it is no wonder that the region's quarries are busier than ever before.
  • Uhde wins Mopco fertiliser job

    Germany's Uhdehas been selected by the local Misr Oil Processing Company (Mopco) to build a major fertiliser plant in Damietta. Both companies are also discussing setting up a second facility in the Suez area, sources close to the project say.
  • UK accuses Iranians of fuelling insurgency

    London accused Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp on 5 October of supplying explosives to Iraqi insurgents. The explosives had been used in attacks on UK troops earlier in 2005 and might have come from Lebanese militant group Hezbollah via Iran, a senior official said on condition of anonymity. 'There is some evidence that the Iranians are in contact with Sunni groups. I don't think it is for a benign purpose,' the official said. London has protested to Tehran, who denied the accusati
  • UK lawyer may defend Saddam

    The defence team for former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein wants a British lawyer to help fight his case, BBC reported on 14 October. Anthony Scrivener QC would head a team to challenge the legitimacy of the trial. 'He is not in a position to make a decision at this stage. It can only come to fruition through the fullness of time, if [Saddam Hussein's lawyers] come back to him and the circumstances are right,' said senior chambers clerk Martin Hart.Abdel Haq Alani, who convened
  • UK wins major defence deal

    King Abdullah has approved a multi-billion-dollar deal calling for the UK's BAE Systemsto upgrade or replace all 96 Tornado aircraft purchased for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) under the Al-Yamamah defence deal originally signed in 1985, authoritative sources in London and Riyadh have told MEED. However, sources have described as baseless media reports that defence equipment sales to Saudi Arabia by the UK depend on the UK government's attempts to allay Riyadh's concerns about the
  • Umm Shaif award nears

    Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (Adma-Opco) is in the final stages of evaluating technical bids for the offshore Umm Shaif gas reinjection project, leaving the way open for commercial bids to be opened by late November. Two companies - a team of the local National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC)with Paris-based Technip, and Hyundai Heavy Industries Companyof South Korea - submitted bids in late August for the estimated $2,000 million engineerin
  • UN Hariri report puts Damascus in the dock

    Pressure mounted on Damascus on 21 October following the release of the UN report on the investigation into the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri.'Even an initial reading of the report is deeply troubling,' said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. 'You have clearly a case in which there is an implication that Syrian officials were involved in the assassination of Rafiq Hariri. You also have a clear indication that the Syrian government has not been co-
  • UN threatens to pull out of Darfur

    Rising violence in the western region of Darfur is threatening the future of the UN aid effort as negotiators from the African Union (AU), the government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) continue talks in Abuja aimed at ending the fighting and healing the rifts among rebel groups.
  • Uncertainty reigns over port concessions

    The Transport Ministry is not expected to make a decision on the build-operate-transfer (BOT) concessions to rehabilitate, upgrade, operate and manage Umm Qasr and Khor al-Zubair ports until a new government is in place. Dubai Ports International (DPI)and Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport Company (KGL)were left in the running for the contracts after Denmark's Maerskpulled out of the operation and management of Khor al-Zubair port in March. 'The interim government d
  • UNDP receives interest for Karama WTP

    At least 10 international and regional firms have submitted expressions of interest for the consultancy contract to rehabilitate line 1 of the Al-Karama water treatment plant (WTP) in Baghdad. The contract will cover the study, design, tender preparation, construction management and supervision of technical assistance to restore the plant's original design capacity of 50 million gallons a day (g/d). Companies are expected to be prequalified for the project by the end of the year. The UNDP is und
  • UNDP seeks water consultants

    The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has invited international and local firms to submit expressions of interest (EoIs) by 10 October for the consultancy contract to rehabilitate Al-Karama water treatment plant (WTP) line 1 in Baghdad. The contract will cover the study, design, tender preparation, construction management and supervision of technical assistance to restore the plant's total design production capacity to its original 50 million gallons a day (g/d). The WTP provides potab
  • United Properties plans major investments

    The US' DDG is expected to complete design work by early 2006 for a major mixed-use development planned in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. Estimated to cost SR 650 million ($173 million), the Andalusia scheme entails the construction of a five-star hotel, three office towers, at least two residential buildings, a three-level shopping mall, a health club and related facilities.
  • United Properties plans major investments

    The US' DDG is expected to complete design work by early 2006 for a major mixed-use development planned in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. Estimated to cost SR 650 million ($173 million), the Andalusia scheme entails the construction of a five-star hotel, three office towers, at least two residential buildings, a three-level shopping mall, a health club and related facilities.
  • Unlocking the door

    Nowadays, most people take mobile phones for granted. Although the technology is still relatively new, the ability to remain in constant communication with friends, family and colleagues is now so commonplace that in most places the novelty is beginning to wear off.
  • Urban planning: Thinking wide-screen

    In recent years, iconic buildings such as Emirates Towers and the Burj al-Arab have achieved international acclaim and attracted architects from all over the world to the region. This influx has upped the ante for those aiming to create something special in the area.
  • US arms sale to Riyadh looms

    The US' Defence Security Co-operation Agency (DSCA) in early October notified Congress of the potential sale of $2,100 million worth of military equipment to Riyadh. One batch under the deal, potentially worth up to $760 million, would cover the continuation of contractor, technical services and logistics support for aircraft, aircraft engines and missiles, as well as associated equipment and services. A second batch would cover the continuation of US supported effort to modernise the Saudi Arab
  • US assault on Ramadi kills 100

    US fighter jets and helicopters killed about 70 suspected insurgents in a series of air strikes near the town of Ramadi on 16 October, the US military said in a statement. About 20 insurgents were killed by a precision-guided bomb as they prepared to set a roadside bomb, the statement said. The rest were killed in air and ground assaults around the town. A local doctor said 25 civilians were killed in the fighting.Five US soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing on 15 Octob
  • US launches massive anti-Al-Qaeda operation

    US-led forces launched their biggest counter-insurgency operation on 4 October near the town of Haditha in western Iraq. Fighter jets flew over the area and helicopters dropped soldiers, who conducted house-to-house searches and made arrests. About 2,500 US troops are involved in Operation River Gate, which aims to eradicate Al-Qaeda in Iraq groups in the Euphrates valley, including the towns of Haqlaniya and Barwana. 'The operation's goal is to deny Al-Qaeda in Iraq the ability to operate
  • US military death toll hits 2,000

    The US military death toll in Iraq passed 2,000 when a wounded serviceman died in a Texas Hospital on 25 October. The milestone led to a number of protests across the US and has given renewed impetus to calls for President Bush to outline an exit strategy for the military. It is estimated that 25,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the conflict began in March 2003.
  • USAID awards $125 million consultancy contract

  • USAID awards $125 million consultancy contract

  • USAID awards $125m consultancy contract

    The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded a $125 million contract to US consultancy firm BearingPointto assist on implementing economic, financial and private sector reform in Egypt. Under the four-year contract, which falls under USAID's technical assistance for policy reform II programme, BearingPoint will assist in seven key areas. These are: trade environment work, including customs reform, trade facilitation, trade policy and intellectual property rights; f
  • USAID retenders West Bank water scheme

    The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is expected to re-issue a request for proposals by the end of October for a $16 million-20 million procurement and construction contract for its water sector institutional capacity building programme. Eight companies originally submitted proposals, which were cancelled in August. The programme aims to improve agencies' water management. It also involves integrating existing services, including co-ordinating US and French-funded bulk water proje
  • Utility venture planned for ASEZ

    The local Kuwaiti-Jordanian Holding Company (KJHC)signed a memorandum of understanding on 29 September with Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC)to establish a joint venture utility company to provide water and wastewater services to major tourist development projects in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ). The company will look at water treatment, desalination, sewerage and maintenance projects. It is evaluating proposals from design consultants for a planned $25 millio
  • Valero signs up for more crude

    State energy company Sonatrach announced in September the conclusion of an agreement for the sale and purchase of crude oil with US-based refiner Valero Energy Corporation. The year-long agreement, provisionally signed at the end of July, is for the provision of 3.4 million tonnes of crude, to be delivered to Valero in 26 cargoes each of 130,000 tonnes. The deal supplements an existing agreement between the two companies for the provision of 84 million barrels of crude, i
  • Various options for Al-Aweer bidders

    Dubai Municipality (DM) is conducting clarifications with three groups for the 12-month contract to increase capacity at Al-Aweer sewage treatment plant (STP). It expects to make an award by November. The bidders for the 50,000-cubic-metre-a-day (cm/d) facility submitted prices for the basic and alternative technology options in late September. The local/Turkish joint venture of Leader Groupwith Mass Aritma TreatmentSystemsis low bidder on all options. Three other
  • Violence ramps up before referendum

    Two suicide bombers killed more than 20 people on 11 October as officials in Baghdad continued last-minute talks about the draft constitution. One bomber targeted Iraqi soldiers in Baghdad. A second bomb exploded in the recently re-opened market in the northwestern town of Tal Afar, where US-led forces launched their largest anti-insurgency offensive at the end of September. Sunni leaders continued to reject the draft charter, which they fear will lead to a federal Iraq. 'If
  • Visa restrictions relaxed

    Nationals of more than 20 countries visiting the kingdom on business will no longer be required to obtain an entry visa in advance, according to the secretary-general of the Council of Saudi Chambers for Commerce & Industry, Fahd al-Sultan.
  • Voting starts on Iraqi constitution

    Hospital patients and staff and prisoners cast early ballots on 13 October in the national referendum on the draft constitution. Businesses, schools and offices closed in preparation for the ballot and Baghdad will seal Iraq's borders at midnight. There will also be a ban on car travel from 14 October to reduce the possibility of suicide attacks. Iraqi television broadcast government announcements encouraging people to vote.Shia spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani
  • Wade scoops more DIFC work

    The local Wade Adams Contractinghas been awarded more infrastructure work at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The latest contract, valued at about AED 59 million ($16 million), covers the extension of West road and the relocation of services and cables. UK-based Maunsellis the consultant. The US' Turner Construction Internationalis the project manager.
  • Wade scoops more DIFC work

    The local Wade Adams Contractinghas been awarded more infrastructure work at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The latest contract, valued at about AED 59 million ($16 million), covers the extension of West road and the relocation of services and cables. UK-based Maunsellis the consultant. The US' Turner Construction Internationalis the project manager.
  • Wadi Dayqah dam tendered

    Prequalified contractors have been invited to bid by 28 November for the contract, worth an estimated RO 50 million-60 million ($128 million-154 million), to build the Wadi Dayqah dam. The scope of works covers the main dam, an earthfill saddle dam, a water supply network covering Muscat and Quriyat, two pumping stations, two storage tanks, two substations and a water treatment works. The prequalifiers to have picked up tender documents so far include India's Hindustan Construction,
  • Washington ups the ante on Syria

    Washington has taken military steps to close Iraq's border with Syria, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on 19 October. 'We have also begun taking new diplomatic steps to convey the seriousness of our concerns,' she said. Washington has repeatedly accused Damascus of permitting foreign fighters to cross from Syria into Iraq to joint the insurgency.The Washington Post reported that the US and France were preparing resolutions to present to the UN Security Council to
  • West Qurna reservoir set for work-over

    South Oil Company (SOC)has invited drilling contractors to submit bids by 20 November for a contract covering a work-over programme of 20 wells in the Mushrif reservoir in the West Qurna field. Located 70 kilometres to the northeast of Basra, the project is scheduled to take 15 months to complete. The successful bidder is expected to achieve drilling productivity of about 2,000 metres a month, including completion and water injection programmes. The wells will have an average depth of 2,5
  • White House denies Bush comments

    Washington denied on 6 October media reports that US President Bush said God had told him to invade Iraq. 'He's never made such comments,' White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath said in a BBC documentary that Bush told him in 2003 that he was 'driven with a mission from God'. 'President Bush said to all of us: 'God would tell me, George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan. And I did, and then God would tell me, George, go and
  • Wilma's course calms market oil prices

    Oil prices fell in the third week of October, chiefly on the news that Hurricane Wilma is likely to bypass the Gulf of Mexico. The news is little comfort to Florida residents but will provide some respite for the beleaguered US crude and refining industry, still reeling from hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Spot Brent was trading at $58.53 a barrel on 19 October, compared with more than $60 a barrel a week earlier.
  • With US help, Iran prepares to reverse the verdict of Qadisiyah

    Prince Saud al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Affairs Minister since 1975, speaks softly and chooses his words carefully. So people should sit up and listen following his comments about Iraq made at the Council on Foreign Relations on 20 September.
  • Work at Arabian Bays kicks off

    The local/Belgian Bel Hasa Six Constructhas been awarded the estimated AED 130 million ($35 million) phase 1 quay wall package on the Arabian Bays development in Dubai's Al-Jadaf district. The 12-month contract calls for the construction of about 4.1 kilometres of pre-cast quay wall between the Garhoud and Ras al-Khor bridges. Local/UK firms Dutco Balfour Beatty (DBB)and Al-Futtaim Carillionalso priced the project. UK-based Halcrowis the consultant
  • Work at Arabian Bays kicks off

    The local/Belgian Bel Hasa Six Constructhas been awarded the estimated AED 130 million ($35 million) phase 1 quay wall package on the Arabian Bays development in Dubai's Al-Jadaf district. The 12-month contract calls for the construction of about 4.1 kilometres of pre-cast quay wall between the Garhoud and Ras al-Khor bridges. Local/UK firms Dutco Balfour Beatty (DBB)and Al-Futtaim Carillionalso priced the project. UK-based Halcrowis the consultant
  • World Bank West Bank water awards due

    Three contract awards are imminent and bids are due on a fourth for World Bank-funded projects in the West Bank. All four come under the emergency water project.
  • WTO accession nears for Riyadh

    Saudi Arabia has been given the green light to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) after 12 years of negotiations, following a decision by a WTO working group to approve a final package of its entry terms, to be discussed at a meeting of the body's ruling General Council on 11 November. If it rubber-stamps the move, it could allow Riyadh to attend a major WTO meeting in Hong Kong in December as a full member. Entry for the world's largest oil exporter would make 149 WTO m
  • Yemen LNG awards tank farm package

    A three-member group of Japan's TKK, South Korea's Daewoo Engineering & Construction Company and Dywidag International of Germany has been awarded the contract to build a tank farm serving the grassroots liquefied natural gas (LNG) project at Bal Haf. The client is Yemen LNG.
  • Yet more time for City Centre bids

    The bid deadline has been extended again to 7 November for the main construction contract on the Bahrain City Centre mall. The four prospective bidders are: the local AA Nass Contracting, with South Africa's Murray & Roberts Contractors (Middle East); the local Cebarco, with Australia's Multiplex Constructions; Cyprus-based GP Zachariades (GPZ - Overseas), with Saudi Arabia's El-Seif Engineering Contracting Establishment; an
  • Yet more time for City Centre bids

    The bid deadline has been extended again to 7 November for the main construction contract on the Bahrain City Centre mall. The four prospective bidders are: the local AA Nass Contracting, with South Africa's Murray & Roberts Contractors (Middle East); the local Cebarco, with Australia's Multiplex Constructions; Cyprus-based GP Zachariades (GPZ - Overseas), with Saudi Arabia's El-Seif Engineering Contracting Establishment; an
  • YLNG pipeline contract awarded

    A group of A Hak Pijpleidingenof the Netherlands with France's AMEC Spie Capag has been awarded the pipeline contract on the Yemen LNG (YLNG) project at Bal Haf. Estimated to be worth $210 million, the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract will cover the installation of a 38-inch-diameter, 320-kilometre-long pipeline to provide feedstock gas for the main liquefaction plant. The UK's Air Productswas selected for liquefied natural
  • Zadco studies bids for Zakum, Zirku upgrades

    Technical and commercial bids were submitted on 8 October to Zakum Development Company (Zadco) for the conceptual study contract aimed at increasing production capacity at the Upper Zakum field and processing facilities on Zirku island in Abu Dhabi. The bidders include Tebodin Middle East, part of Tebodin of the Netherlands, Paris-based Technip, Engineers India (EIL) and US-based Foster Wheeler(MEED 9:9:05).
  • ZP Arabia wins drilling work

    The local/Chinese ZP Arabia Drilling Companyhas been awarded four contracts, totalling more that $110 million, to deploy drilling rigs for Saudi Aramco. Under the terms of the three-year contracts, which each have a one-year extension option, ZP Arabia will deploy two 1,500-HP rigs, one 1,000-HP rig and one 750-HP rig across the kingdom. Once mobilised, ZP Arabia, a 75:25 joint venture of ZPEB International- a subsidiary of Sinopec- and the local
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