Bahrain’s Works Ministry will relaunch the prequalification process to select a company to carry out detailed feasibility studies for the first phase of its planned $7.9bn rapid transport network.

The ministry says it is redoing the prequalification process in order to expand the list of prequalified consultants by adopting international competitive bidding standards and to re-evaluate the capabilities of the consultants.

The ministry prequalified 10 groups to bid for the contract in April 2010 (MEED 15:4:10).

The prequalified groups are:

  • Atkins (UK)
  • Parsons Global Services (US)
  • Mott Macdonald (UK)
  • Systra (France)
  • Aecom (US)/RMJM (UK)/Steer Davies Gleave (UK)
  • Parsons Brinckerhoff (US)
  • Dar al-Handasah (Lebanon)/DB International (Germany)
  • Arup Gulf (UK)
  • Scott Wilson (UK)
  • Cowi Almoayyed Gulf (Denmark)

The first phase involves the construction of an 11-kilometre light rail transit (LRT) line that will run from the airport to the capital Manama, then on to Isa Town Gate interchange to end at the Qatar-Bahrain Causeway.

The first phase also involves the construction of a 13km tramway that will connect Juffair with the Seef district. The ministry had initially hoped to start operating phase one in 2014 although this is now likely to be pushed back.

The Works Ministry has received approval from the tender board to reconduct the prequalification process and is currently finalising the prequalification documents.

In January, the ministry said it had received assurance from the Finance Ministry that requisite funds would be allocated for the project in the 2011 budget. Since then, however, Bahrain’s economy has been knocked by anti-government protests that started in mid-February. The tough response from security forces led many internaitonal companies to ship their staff off the island.