Jordan will now develop its Aqaba New Port project on a public-private partnership basis.

The Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC) has now suspended the construction process that was being carried out on direct build method.

A consortium comprising France’s Bouygues, Bollore and Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) will now design, build, operate and finance the Aqaba New Port project after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the ADC.

Contractors that already prequalified for construction work will be involved in later stages of development.

“While this MoU is in effect, the process for the construction within the direct build method will be suspended. However, the contractors prequalified under the direct build program will be short-listed for ADC’s other port projects,” says an ADC spokesperson.

The project has undergone a complex planning process.

In November 2009, ADC announced in November that it would finance and build the new port project itself having cancelled the public-private partnership for the contract.

The company ended exclusive negotiations with the Kuwaiti-led Aqaba Gateway Group (AGG) which was the preferred bidder for construction work as the parties could not reach an agreement over the terms and conditions for development and operation.

ADC then gave local and international firms until 16 May to submit expressions of interest for work on the marine works contract (MEED 15:4:10).

The marine works consist of dredging and reclamation, four general cargo berths, a roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) and grain terminal, a marine services harbour, a breakwater and the extension of an existing seawater intake and outfall.

US-based Aecom carried out the design for the marine works package.

The original $700m budget for the project has now been revised to $540m. The port is still scheduled to be fully operational by the end of 2012.