The Ports & Railways Authority (PRA) has prequalified seven consortiums for expansion work at the Ashdod port. The groups have been invited to submit bids by15 June. The PRA says it will take about five months to evaluate the proposals.

The tender covers work in the first phase of the project, involving the development of the new Hayovel port which will have an initial capacity of 500,000, 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) and 2.5 million tonnes of general cargo a year. The work will include extending the main breakwater by1,150 metres, constructing new cargo and container quays 1,900 metres in length and developing a hinterland operational area of 212 acres.

It will take about three-and-a-half years to complete and will cost an estimated$500 million. The project will be financed by the PRA.

The groups in contention are:

Besix of Belgium, with the US’s Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company

Philipp Holzmann of Germany, with Jan de Nul of Belgium, Per Aarsleff of Holland and E Pihl & Son of Denmark

The local Solel Boneh Building & Infrastructure, with Boskalis International and Volker Stein, both of the Netherlands, and Bouygues Offshore of France

Nesco of Spain, with the local Arenson and Taavura

Muhibbah Engineering of Malaysia with Turkey’s Guris Insaat & Muhendislik and HAM Dredging and Ballast Nedam, both of Holland

Somague of Portugal, with Hojgaard & Schultz of Denmark and Portugal’s Mota & Companhia

The local Ashtroom Group, with Spain’s Grupo Dragados and Van Oord ACZ Overseas of the Netherlands.