EXCLUSIVE: Kuwait to restart stalled seaport scheme

02 July 2017

Procurement for major dredging package stalled in 2011

The tender for a key dredging and reclamation package for Kuwait’s Mubarak al-Kabeer Port on Bubiyan Island is expected to be released within the third quarter of 2017.

It appears the procurement process will be restarted with the same list of companies prequalified six years earlier.

Called package 3A under the first phase of the major seaport project, the scope includes dredging works for the port basin as well as the approach channel.

Ten companies specialising in marine and dredging works were prequalified for the deal between 2012 and 2014. They include:

The procurement process, however, has not progressed since then.

Two earlier packages under the first phase of the megaproject have either been completed or are approaching completion.

Package 1 for the seaport project, which entails bridge soil treatment works and the construction of a road bridge, is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

The contract, worth $449m, entails mainly soil treatment and foundation works. It was awarded in 2006 to a team of China Harbour Engineering, Oman’s Galfar Engineering and the local Gulf Dredging.

Package 2, which entails the construction of a container terminal and 16 berths, was completed in 2014, according to regional projects tracker MEED Projects.

Mubarak al-Kabeer Port was originally scheduled to open in 2010. However, contract awards began falling behind schedule after the first award in 2006. The second package for the construction of the quay wall and berths and dredging work was awarded only in 2010. This forced authorities to revise the target opening date to 2016, which has also been missed.

The port is expected to have a capacity to handle 2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of container cargo upon completion.

In June last year, the Kuwait Ports Authority tendered a consultancy deal for developing a general strategy for the future development of the state’s major commercial ports.

The study was designed to assess the feasibility of currently proposed development and expansion projects at the ports in Shuwaikh, Shuaiba and Doha.

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