Estimated to be worth £E 230 million ($50 million), the scope of works for the enablings and site contract includes moving 300,000 cubic metres of earth and the provision of 54,000 cubic metres of concrete and 5,700 tonnes of reinforced steel. The facilities to be covered under the contract include conservation and energy centres and a fire-fighting station.

Bids are due to be submitted by 24 July to the Culture Ministry for the project management consultancy (PMC) services contract. The tender was issued after the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) agreed to provide a $316 million loan for the landmark project under its official development assistance (ODA) programme.

About 16 companies have been shortlisted to bid for the PMC contract. However, not all are expected to take part in the tender.

The prospective bidders include Hill International and Turner Construction International, both of the US, Australia’s Bovis Lend Lease and Japan’s Pacific Consultants International (PCI).

A team, led by Dublin-based Heneghan Peng Architects and including representatives of UK engineering firms Arup and Buro Happold, has completed schematic designs for the project. Detailed designs are due to be completed in early 2007.