Kuwait’s independent Audi Bureau has rejected the award of the $4.3bn contract to the lowest bidder of the planned Terminal 2 at the Kuwait International airport (KIA).

A final review of the contract will be undertaken by the state’s Ministers Council, which could override the Audit Bureau’s decision. “The Ministers Council’s decision could take anywhere from a month to two years,” a source familiar with the project tells MEED.

The high cost of the project was apparently cited as the primary reason for the Audit Bureau’s decision to reject the contract award.

The MEED source said that there was no basis for the corruption allegation that has been levelled primarily by MP Saadoun Hammad against the former Public Works Minister with regard to the tendering and award process.

Without identifying the contractors, Hammad has insisted that the value of the contract was KD600m ($1.97bn) more than it should be, and that the new Public Works Minister, Ali al-Omair, must further investigate those involved in the award process.

A joint venture of Turkey’s Limak and local Kharafi National was named the lowest bidder, having made an offer of $4.3bn for the contract to build Terminal 2, in August 2015.

The new terminal is expected to be completed by 2020. When finished, it will more than double the airport’s passenger handling capacity to 13 million people a year.