Bids have been submitted for three of the largest construction contracts ever tendered in Saudi Arabia. The bids, worth close to SR43bn ($11.5bn) in total, have been submitted by local contractors for work on the new campus at Riyadh University for Women.

The work has been split into three packages. The first two contracts will cover the majority of construction work at the site, including various low-rise faculty buildings and associated works. The third package covers infrastructure and a series of technical building and plant stations.

UNIVERSITY DEALS
Total value of bids for campus at Riyadh University for Women $11.5bn
Saudi Oger’s bid for the first package of the project SR17bn
Value of new contract at King Khaled University SR5bn
Saudi Binladin Group’s bid for second college in Riyadh SR8.8bn
Size of second Riyadh college 1.3 sq km

The low bidder for the first package is Saudi Oger, with a bid of SR17bn, one source close to the project tells MEED. Saudi Binladin Group is the low bidder for the second contract, with a bid of SR15bn, and El-Seif has submitted the lowest bid for the infrastructure package, at SR11bn.

The bids were submitted on 22 October and work is expected to begin in early 2009. Riyadh University for Women is located to the north of the capital. The new campus is expected to cover almost 3 square kilometres. The Finance Ministry is the client (MEED 3:10:08).

The value of the bids almost doubles the value of projects under way in the kingdom’s education sector. The Higher Education Ministry has invited firms to bid by the end of November for a SR5bn contract at King Khaled University in the south of the kingdom. The faculties include medical, dentistry and pharmacy colleges, as well as an 800-bed student hospital and a library (MEED 17:10:08).

In July, Saudi Binladin was the low bidder for the contract to construct another women’s college in Riyadh. Its SR8.8bn bid and undercut those from the local Al-Rashid Trading & Contracting Company, Sweden’s ABV Rock and Saudi Oger (MEED 25:7:08).

The college will be located close to the existing King Saud University and will cover about 1.3 sq km, with 12 buildings. An award was expected in August, but as yet no decision has been made by the client. It is hoped that construction will begin by the end of 2008.

Saudi Oger is also working on the SR11.3bn King Abdullah University of Science & Technology for state energy firm Saudi Aramco.

Should the latest contracts for Riyadh University for Women be awarded to the low bidders, it will add to a large body of work for the three local firms in the capital.

On 27 October, Saudi Oger, Saudi Binladin and El-Seif were awarded construction contracts worth just under SR5bn in total by the Public Pensions Agency for tower projects in King Abdullah Financial District.

The contracts cover the construction of 12 buildings and a mosque within the development, which is located to the south of the city and covers 1.6 sq km.

Saudi Oger was awarded a SR1.4bn design-and-build contract for a hotel tower and an office tower. The US’ Goettsch Partners and KlingStubbins are working on the tower design.

El-Seif Engineering & Contracting Company won a SR1.3bn contract for the construction of four buildings, while Saudi Bin-ladin was awarded a SR1.6bn contract for six buildings and the mosque.

The awards had been delayed by six months because of modifications to the original master-plan. When the project is completed, it is intended to become the largest business zone in the Middle East.