Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (Gaca) has received bids from contractors for the two major construction contracts on the expansion of King Abdulaziz International airport in Jeddah.  

The packages are both design and build. The first contract covers the new terminal building and the second is for infrastructure works. The terminal deal will involve designing and building a 600,000 square-metre terminal capable of handling 30 million passengers a year. The infrastructure contract is to design and build runways, tunnels and a light rail system (MEED 2:3:10).

According to sources working on the project, the low bidder for both packages is the local Saudi Binladin Group (SBG). For the terminal, it submitted a price of SR11.3bn and for the infrastructure, its price is SR13.9bn. Both of SBG’s prices were about SR3bn lower than the second lowest bids.

For the terminal, the other bidders are a joint venture of Saudi Oger and South Africa’s Murray & Roberts Contractors (Middle East) at SR14.4bn; the local Almabani General Contractors Company at SR18.4bn; a consortium of Turkey’s TAV, Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), the local El-Seif Engineering & Contracting; and the local Al-Rajhi Group at SR19.1bn.

The second lowest bidder for the infrastructure is Almabani at SR16.8bn, followed by TAV/CCC/El-Seif/Al-Rajhi at SR18.9bn; Oger/Murray & Roberts at SR19.6bn; and China Harbour Engineering Company at SR22bn.

Gaca had originally planned to award one design contract and separate contracts for the construction of each element of the airport instead of awarding two larger contracts for both design and construction work. It chose to change its procurement strategy to speed up the project in December.

The new procurement strategy will shorten the project’s delivery time as contractors will now be able to start some of the construction work before all the design work has been finalised.

Lebanon’s Dar al-Handasah is the consultant on the project.

The kingdom is also developing the Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz airport at Medina. Gaca is currently prequalifying companies for the public-private partnership (PPP) deal to develop the SR5.6bn first phase of the project.

The successful contractor will have to develop, rehabilitate, expand, finance and operate an airport capable of handling up to 14 million people a year. The airport currently handles about 3.5 million passengers a year.