The transport ministries of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have presented the findings of a due diligence study conducted for the King Hamad Causeway project to investors, contractors and consultants at a meeting held in Manama.

The clients indicated at the meeting, the second after the initial consultation event held on 7 June, that they intend to release the tender documents for the project’s feasibility study in April 2018.

The study is expected to take six months to complete, with internal approval of the recommendations expected to take another three months.

This implies that the tender for the main contract to finance, develop and operate the scheme would only be released by December 2018 at the earliest.

It is understood that UK-based consultancy PWC conducted the study in cooperation with Canada-based SNC Lavalin.

Earlier, it was indicated that the clients aim to appoint a transaction adviser in early 2018.

Close to 100 firms expressed an interest on 29 June for the King Hamad Causeway project, which will link Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

It will feature a 25km road and rail causeway in the same alignment as the existing King Fahd causeway. The railway segment will extend inland by another 21km into Saudi Arabia and 24km into Bahrain.