Aqaba Development Corporation builds new port itself

17 November 2009

PPP tender process cancelled

Jordan’s Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC) says it will now build and finance the $700 million Aqaba New Port by itself and have cancelled the public-private partnership (PPP) for the contract.

The company, which is the investment arm of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZA), says it made the decision after disagreements surfaced between ADC and the preferred bidder the Aqaba Gateway Group (AGG).

This divide caused the breakdown of months of negotiations between the two parties.

“ADC…has formally cancelled the tender process for the new port project and ended exclusive negotiations with the Aqaba Gateway Group which was selected in August as the preferred bidder since ADC and AGG could not reach an agreement over the terms of the development and operation agreement for the new port,” ADC said in a statement seen by MEED.

ADC says it will now use its available financial resources to fund the project, including proceeds of its corporate bonds.

The company also said it will invite the private sector to participate in later stages of the development and operation of the new port in order to benefit from public-private partnerships.

In August, MEED reported that ADC selected the AGG consortium, led by Kuwait’s KGL Investment, having carried out due diligence on the group’s technical and financial bids (MEED 03:08:09).

The consortium also included Kuwait and Gulf Link Transport Company, Greece’s J&P, Portia from the UK, Deutsche Bank, a joint venture between US law firm Latham and Watkins and Jordan’s own Obeidat & Freihat, Cowi from Denmark and Arcadis from Holland.

Once the new project is completed, ADC will hand over the existing port site to UAE-based Al Maabar which has plans to build a real estate development there.

The completion date of the new Aqaba port project is still confirmed for the end of 2012.

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