Jordan’s Aqaba Development Corporation says construction work on the new $700m Aqaba New Port will begin by June next year.

The construction works will be divided into several design-and-build packages, says a spokesperson at Aqaba Development Corporation.

The design of the first package involving the marine works has already been awarded to US-based Aecom. The company will ask for expressions of interest and requests for prequalification in 2010 for the construction packages.

“ADC will shortly issue a joint expression of interest and request for qualification (RFP) in order to solicit specialist marine contractors, followed by an RFP to the short-listed firms,” the company says in a statement to MEED.

The Aqaba Development Corporation will begin issuing the RFP for the design of the onshore packages in the second quarter of 2010.

The onshore packages include the earthworks and utilities, grain terminal and silos and the general cargo and a roll-on and roll-off ferry terminal.

The company announced in November that it would finance and build the new port project itself having cancelled the public-private partnership for the contract.

The corporation, which is the investment arm of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone, made the decision after disagreements surfaced between itself and the preferred bidder the Aqaba Gateway Group.

“ADC…has formally cancelled the tender process for the new port project and ended exclusive negotiations with the Aqaba Gateway Group which was selected in August as the preferred bidder since (they) could not reach an agreement over the terms of the development and operation agreement for the new port,” Aqaba Development Corporation said in a statement.

Aqaba Development Corporation will now use its available financial resources to fund the project, including proceeds of its corporate bonds.

The company also said it will invite the private sector to participate in later stages of the development and operation of the new port in order to benefit from public-private partnerships.

Once the new project is completed, Aqaba Development Corporation will hand over the existing port site to UAE-based Al-Maabar which has plans to build a real estate development there (MEED 3:8:09).

The completion date of the new port is still confirmed for the end of 2012.