The deadline for bids had been delayed from the original date of 16 May to 29 May at the request of the bidders. An award is now expected within three months.

The bidders include Finland-based Poyry with Invap of Argentina, the US’ CRA International with BEC Construction and Excel, both local, and a team of Empresarios Agrupados, Iberdrola and Socoin Ingenieria y Construccion Industrial, all of Spain.

Bids were also submitted by Australia’s Worley Parsons, Bechtel of the US, AF Consult of Sweden and a team of the US’ Sargent & Lundy, Belgium’s Tractebel and the local Arab Consulting Engineers (Moharram.Bakhoum).

The successful bidder will select and evaluate sites for a series of 1,000MW plants EEHC is planning to build across the country. The first will be built at El-Dabaa near Alexandria and part of the consultant’s work will be to update existing studies of the site.

The consultant will also assess what technology the plants should use, implement a quality assurance programme and prepare a contract for the construction of the plants.

In the future, the successful bidder could also be asked to oversee further aspects of the nuclear programme, including construction management, field engineering and start-up and commissioning services.