Kuwait’s Central Tenders Committee (CTC) has approved the award of a KD738.8m ($2.6bn) contract to the consortium of South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company and the local Combined Group Contracting Company (CGC) to build the Subiya Causeway.

CTC approval is the final step before a formal contract award is made.

The Public Works Ministry received three bids for the project on 10 October last year. The winning consortium saw off competition from groups led by the Saudi Binladin Group and the UAE/Australian Al-Habtoor Leighton Group.

The Hyundai-led consortium will execute the project on a design-and-build basis, using a preliminary design prepared by Danish consultant Cowi. It will be 37.5 kilometres long and incorporate a bridge spanning 150-200 metres.The causeway will cross Kuwait Bay, linking Kuwait City with the Subiya promontory and Bubiyan Island, where various major projects are proposed.

The project, known officially as the Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah bridge, has been repeatedly delayed by design changes to allow large vessels to pass beneath it and avoid environmental damage. Bidders were first sought in 2006, but little progress was made at the time. The ministry reopened the prequalification process for the contract in February 2010 and prequalified eight consortiums.

In July last year, a consortium led by Hyundai was awarded a $1.1bn contract for the marine engineering works contract on the planned Bubiyan port. A consortium of Hyundai and the local Mohammed Abdulmoshin al-Kharafi & Sons was awarded the contract by the Public Works Ministry.

The port had also suffered from repeated delays. The ministry began retendering packages on the port in October 2009 after three years of stagnation (MEED 3:6:10).