Two consortia – China International Water & Electric Corporationwith China National Water Resources & Hydropower Engineering Corporationand a joint venture of Salini Costruttoriof Italy and Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC)– are competing for the civil works package, which is being funded by four Arab development agencies. According to the bid opening prices, the Chinese venture has quoted a price of Eur 549 million ($583 million) and the Salini/CCC group, after discount, has quoted Eur 622 million ($661 million). A contract award is expected by May.

Contractors are preparing to submit bids for the electrical/mechanical and transmission packages by 30 March and 31 March respectively. Five international groups are prequalified to bid for the two packages, which have a combined value of at least $600 million. Companies from China, Europe and Japan are expected to bid for the work. Bidders are required to submit their own financing proposals.

The 520-metre long, 1,500-MW hydroelectric dam will be located near the Nile’s fourth cataract, some 210 kilometres north of Khartoum. Construction is due to be completed in 2008.

Germany’s Lahmeyer Internationalis the engineering consultant.