The contractor said that the award, which was due to have been awarded by the first quarter of 2008, has been delayed while the client, the Ministry of the Interior, continues to negotiatate with bidders.

A smaller contract covering civil and electro-mechanical works on the fence is expected imminently (MEED 3:3:08). Two consortiums are in final negotiations with the ministry. They are the local El-Seif Engineering & Contracting with the US’ DRS Technologies; and the local Rashed al-Rashed & Sons Group with European Aeronautic Defence & Space Company.

In November 2007, 14 groups submitted bids for the estimated SR4bn ($1.1bn) contract to build a fence along the kingdom’s border with Iraq.

The 900-kilometre-long security fence will have two lines of razor wire, with a second fence several kilometres behind it. There will be thermal-imaging equipment and ground surveillance radar between the two fences (MEED 16:11:07).