Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) has invited selected companies to bid by 23 March for the contract to build the substructure for the estimated $1bn Louvre Abu Dhabi museum on Saadiyat Island.

The concrete substructure package follows the award of a piling contract to Germany’s Bauer, which has also completed the enabling works package including excavation.

The 20-week piling contract involves driving 5,638 piles. For the excavation, Bauer removed 503,000 cubic metres of material for the base of the museum.

TDIC is building the museum using a series of fixed-price lump sum construction contracts. In December, it sent letters to contractors that had prequalified to build the museum on a design and build basis that had changed its procurement strategy (MEED 16:12:09).

At least 12 groups prequalified for the design and build contract, and many have told MEED they remain interested in the substructure package and the main construction package, which will be tendered later in 2010.

The prequalifiers for the design and build contract included the local/UK Aldar Laing O’Rourke; the local/Australian Al-Habtoor Leighton Group in a joint venture with South Africa’s Murray & Roberts Contractors (Middle East); a French joint venture of Bouygues and Vinci Grand Projets; Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company; Germany’s Ed Zueblin; Australia’s Multiplex with the UK/local Mivan Depa; Brazil’s Odebrecht; Oger Abu Dhabi, the local affiliate of Saudi Oger; South Korea’s Samsung Corporation; the local/Belgian Six Construct Abu Dhabi; a South Korean group of Ssangyong Corporation, Daewoo Engineering & Construction, Posco Engineering & Construction, and Hanmi Parsons; and Japan’s Taisei Corporation (MEED 3:12:09).

The UK’s Buro Happold is the engineer, France’s Jean Nouvel is the architect and US-based Aecom is the programme manager.