All 14 contracts on the first phase of the GCC electricity grid project were signed at a ceremony in Al-Khobar on 17 November between Dammam-based GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) and the selected contractors (MEED 7:10:05).

Europe?s ABBsigned six contracts, worth about $470 million, for the construction of six 400-kV substations at Al-Zour in Kuwait, Al-Jasr in Bahrain, Al-Fadhili and Ghunan in Saudi Arabia, Salwa on the Qatari/Saudi border and Doha South in Qatar. ABB was low bidder for all six substation lots when prices were opened for all the packages in mid-August (MEED 19:8:05).

The Italian/French grouping of Pirelliand Nexanswas formally awarded the estimated $400 million contract for the installation of the 40-kilometre-long, 400-kV submarine link between Ras al-Qurrayah and Al-Jasr.

France?s Areva T&Dsigned two contracts, totalling $233.5 million, covering the construction of a high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) converter station at Fadhili, and the construction of the grid control centre at Ghunan.

Saudi Arabia?s National Contracting Company and Middle East Engineering & Development Company (Meedco), the Saudi affiliate of South Korea?s Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company, won two each of the four lots on the overhead lines package, totalling more than $250 million. The final contract, for the supervision work, was signed by Canada?s SNC Lavalin, which is also the project consultant. Commissioning of the network is due in 2008 (MEED 11:2:05).