The Sinohydro/Gamuda/WCT venture was originally ranked second on price for the package with a quote of QR 1,833 million ($503 million). However, after the original low bid submitted by the UK/Athens-based venture of Balfour Beattyand Consolidated Contractors International Companywas judged non-compliant, the Chinese/ Malaysian group along with the third ranked bidder, South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering & Construction, was invited in early July to submit revised prices.

The 33-month contract covers the airfield facilities, tunnel and detention ponds. The airfield facilities comprise two runways, one of 4.8 kilometres and the other of 4.2 kilometres, three parallel taxiways, aprons, drainage works, airfield lighting and four substations. The mid-field access tunnel will be a one kilometre-long, three-lane dual-carriageway, while there will be four detention ponds which will include power supply and pumping systems.

Within the joint venture, Sinohydro will hold a 60 per cent stake, Gamuda 25 per cent and WCT 15 per cent.

The airfield package is the ninth to be awarded on the NDIA project, with a similar number out to tender. In total, there are more than 20 separate bid packages on the scheme.