Contractors are still waiting for the government to approve the main construction contract on the estimated $2.6bn Subiya Causeway in Kuwait.

Kuwait’s Central Tenders Committee (CTC) approved the $2.6bn low bid from the consortium headed by South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company in February last year after receiving bids from contractors in October 2010. CTC approval is normally the final step before a formal contract award is made.

More than one year on, and the contract has still not been awarded. According to sources in Kuwait, the award of the contract to the Hyundai consortium has been approved by the Public Works Ministry, the client and the Audit Bureau, but is still awaiting the final approval from Parliament.

The Subiya Causeway has faced several delays since the tender was first opened in 2006. The project, officially known as the Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah bridge, was repeatedly delayed due to design changes to allow large vessels to pass beneath it and avoid environmental damage. The Public Works Ministry reopened the prequalification process in 2010.

The causeway will cross Kuwait Bay, linking Kuwait City with the Subiya promontory and Bubiyan Island, where various major projects are proposed. The planned causeway will be 37.5 kilometres long and incorporate a bridge spanning 150-200 metres.

The original masterplan for the Subiya promontory was drawn up more than 20 years ago and there have been numerous delays and additions to the proposed masterplan since then.