DP World is inviting at least six companies to bid by 25 September for dredging and civil engineering works on a fresh expansion scheme at Jebel Ali port in Dubai.

The Dubai-based port operator is preparing to start construction work by the end of the year to create an offshore island that will significantly increase the capacity of the existing facility.

Companies being invited to bid include the local/Belgian Bel Hasa Six Construct; Belgium’s Jan De Nul; South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company; Brazil’s Odebrecht; and two Dutch firms, Royal Boskalis Westminster and Van Oord.

The dredging works involve the reclamation of an island that will be located close to the existing port and the dredging of a basin between the island and the shore. The civil works include 2.2 kilometres of quay walls and the foundations for a bridge that will connect the new island to the existing port.

By the end of this year, the port’s handling capacity will be 14-15 million 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs). DP World’s long-term plan is to expand capacity to 50 million TEUs by 2030, via a 14-stage masterplan.

Construction of the first phase of stage one of the new container terminal in Jebel Ali Port was completed last year.

The new terminal has a quay which is 1,200 metres long, with a handling capacity of 2.5 million TEUs. The work also involved deepening the channel to enable the port to receive the newest generation of large vessels.

South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction completed the onshore facilities and the quay wall package and Jan De Nul was the dredging and reclamation contractor.

Scott Wilson of the UK is the consultant for the infrastructure, while US-based Parsons International is the project manager for the expansion of Jebel Ali (MEED 29:1:08).

Part of the increase in traffic at Jebel Ali comes as a result of the decision to move most cargo traffic away from Dubai’s other port, Port Rashid, which will now focus on cruise ships.

Another major port is being built to the southwest of Jebel Ali in Abu Dhabi by the Abu Dhabi Ports Company. US-based Bechtel is the project manager.

The first phase of Khalifa Port & Industrial Zone in the Taweelah area will open in 2010, with container capacity for 2 million TEUs and 6 million tonnes of general cargo. Four subsequent phases will result in capacity rising to 22 million TEUs and 35 million tonnes of cargo by 2028.

A consortium of Archirodon Construction, Boskalis Westminster Middle East and Hyundai Engineering & Construction began work on the port’s dredging package earlier this year.

The surrounding industrial zone will cater for a number of industries, including base metals, heavy industry, chemicals, trade and logistics, building materials and medium and light industry.

The largest project planned for the site is a 1.2 million-tonne-a-year aluminium smelter that is being built by Emirates Aluminium Company (Emal).