Consultants close on Merowe dam

21 December 2001

The UK's Mott MacDonaldand Germany's Lahmeyer International have been shortlisted for the contract to provide engineering designs and construction supervision services on the 1,250-MW Merowe hydroelectric dam project. Ten international consultants submitted proposals for the dam, to be located north of Khartoum on the fourth cataract of the Nile river. The Irrigation & Water Resources Ministry is expected to invite the preferred bidder for contract negotiations in the first quarter of 2002 (MEED 2:11:01).

Almost 50 international contractors applied in October to prequalify for the main civil works package. The scope of work covers the construction of a 60-metre-high, 520-metre-long concrete dam wall. Rockfill and earthwork excavation will extend for up to four kilometres on either side of the dam, and the selected contractor will also build spillways, water intakes, access roads and irrigation outlets (MEED 24:8:01).

The costs of the civil works - estimated at $550 million - are being financed by four Arab funding agencies. They are the Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development, the Saudi Industrial Development Fund, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, and the Abu Dhabi Development Fund.

The dam will house 10 125-MW hydroelectric turbines and produce enough power to meet rising demand around Khartoum. Finance for the mechanical and electrical package is still to be finalised. The government has entered into negotiations with several potential suppliers.

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