Estimated to be worth $1,000 million-1,200 million, the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract calls for the construction of: a 41-kilometre causeway, including 20 kilometres of laterals from onshore Manifa to the last production and drilling platform; a 2.4-kilometre main bridge; eight culverts, each 50 metres long; and five short bridges each 150 metres long. The contract also includes the dredging of 27 islands. The causeway will accommodate and provide access to drilling rigs to be installed in water depths of 30-40 metres. The facilities will take three years to complete.

Companies invited to prequalify include Geneva-registered Archirodon Construction (Overseas), Van Oord Gulf and Royal Boskalis Westminster, both of the Netherlands, Dredging International and Jan de Nul, both of Belgium, the local Huta Sete, US’ Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company and South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company.

Aramco plans to issue the tender documents in mid-July, with a job explanation meeting due to be held in Dhahran on 25 July.

Bids are also due to be submitted in late June for a three-year contract to carry out a 3D/2D seismic survey. A tender for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) package for the offshore facilities is due to be issued by August, and is expected to be followed by a FEED tender for the proposed offshore facilities early 2007.

The estimated $9,000 million Manifa programme entails the construction of major offshore and onshore facilities. Offshore, the facilities will include the installation of 20 production and process platforms. Onshore, the project will entail the construction of gas-oil separation plants (GOSPs), separators and crude stabilisation units.