Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) has awarded Saudi Arabia’s National Contracting Company (NCC) the first engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract on phase nine of its project to expand the country’s transmission network.

NCC has won the overhead lines package on the scheme. The contract covers the construction of 132kV, 66kV and 33kV double-circuit lines.

One source close to the project says the client is also close to awarding five packages for underground cables.

Kahramaa is currently in negotiations with six companies for six substation packages on the project.

In May, MEED reported that Kahramaa was scaling back its original plans for the phase nine expansion. The company cancelled 10 per cent of its planned substations and decided to stagger the construction of the remainder.

While the original plan consisted of 54 substations split between 10 packages, the new strategy limits the number of packages to eight.

Kahramaa was due to award an engineering services consultancy contract on the scheme in September, but is now likely to delay this until after it awards the substation packages.

A total of 11 firms bid for the consultancy work, which consists of six packages, in June.

Kahramaa originally planned to award the contract at the beginning of September but it is now likely to make the award in mid October, according to one of the bidders.

The winning consultant will supervise the work and review the design documents.

Serbia’s Energoprojekt Entel won a previous consultancy contract on the scheme. Under that deal, the company is responsible for the verification and evaluation of tender documents for the EPC contracts that form phase nine of the project.

In May, Kahramaa awarded a $64m contract to Italy’s Prysmian on phase eight of the transmission network expansion. The contract covers the provision of EPC, installation and commissioning services for extra-high-voltage underground power cables in the Doha area.

Phase eight will cost an estimated $1.2bn in total.

In January 2008, India’s Larsen & Toubro won one phase-eight package to build five 66/11kV substations. South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction won another to build seven 220kV, 66kV and 132kV substations.

Spain’s Isolux took a further two packages to build 10 substations, while France’s Areva won contracts to build a total of 14 substations.

Bidders for substation packages

  • ABB (Switzerland)
  • Hyosung (South Korea)
  • Hyundai Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Isolux (Spain)
  • Larsen & Toubro (India)
  • Siemens (Germany)

Bidders for engineering services consultancy

  • Alfanar Energy Company (Qatar)
  • Energoprojekt Entel (Serbia)
  • Engineering Consultants Group (Egypt)
  • Fichtner (Germany)
  • Kema (Netherlands)
  • Lahmeyer International (Germany)
  • Mott MacDonald (UK)
  • Parsons Brinckerhoff (US)
  • Poyry (Finland)
  • Shaker Consultancy Group (Egypt)
  • Tata Group (India)