The number of prequalifiers for the civil works package on the Naga Hammadi dam and hydroelectric project has come down to five from six, following the removal of one of the bidders from the list approved in March.

Nabil Fawzi, the project manager at the Irrigation & Water Resources Ministry, says Germany’s Hochtief has been disqualified because of a possible conflict of interest arising from its overlapping ownership with Lahmeyer International, also of Germany, which is working as a consultant on the project.

Hochtief was prequalified for the civil works package in a consortium which also included the local Arab Contractors (Osman Ahmed Osman & Company). It is understood that Arab Contractors is seeking to get back on to the list in another configuration. However, Fawzi says that for the time being there are just five prequalifiers.

A Hochtief executive declined to comment on the issue, other than to say that any questions should be directed to theministry.

The four-package project is being financed by some $190 million in loans from Germany’s Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau and the European Investment Bank. Tender documents are due to be sent out to the prequalified contractors in mid-June.

Jordan The Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development (AFESD) and Jordan signed an agreement for a KD 35 million ($116 million) loan to finance the Wihdeh Dam in Amman on 16 May. The loan carries interest of 4.5 per cent over 22 years, with a six-year grace period. The Public Works & Housing Ministry is now prequalifying contractors for the project. A total of 83 firms purchased prequalifying documents for the project but just 28actually submitted them by the due date of 2 May (MEED 5:5: 00).