Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry has received bids from four groups for the contract to build the $2.6bn-plus King Khaled Medical City project in Dammam.

A joint venture of the local Al-Yamama and South Korea’s Ssangyong Engineering & Construction submitted the low bid of SR9.3bn ($2.6bn). The low bid was marginally cheaper than the SR9.5bn price submitted by the local Saudi Binladin Group (SBG).

The local Al-Rashid Trading & Contracting Company submitted the third-lowest bid of SR9.8bn, which was followed by a SR11.5bn price from a joint venture of the local Al-Bawani Company and Portugal’s MSF.

King Khaled Medical City will cover a total area of 700,000 square metres (sq m) and will include a 1,500-bed hospital, a residential complex, a research centre and an international academy. The client for the scheme is the local King Fahd Specialist Hospital group. The US-based team of Aecom/Ellerbe Becket is the architect and lead designer for the city.

The US’ Vanir Construction Management was awarded the deal to provide project management services for the project in January 2012.

The scheme is the latest of several medical city schemes that have been tendered in the kingdom in recent months.

A joint venture of Al-Bawani Company and Italy’s Salini Impregilo was recently awarded two contracts by the Health Ministry totalling more than SR10bn for the construction of new hospitals.

The larger of the two orders, worth SR5.6bn, is for King Faisal Medical City in Abha in the Asir province, located in the southwest of the kingdom. The 36-month deal involves the construction of three hospital towers, underground parking, an office complex, a convention centre, a hotel, utilities, roads and infrastructure on a 260,000 sq-m site

In 2012, the local Al-Fouzan Trading & General Construction Company was awarded an estimated SR642m contract to build the first phase of King Faisal Medical City.

The second order, worth SR4.7bn, is for the construction of Prince Mohammed Medical City in Al-Jouf in the north of the kingdom. The 36-month deal is similar in scope to the King Faisal award and includes roads and Infrastructure, three hospital towers, underground parking, offices, a hotel, utilities and housing.