Kuwait’s Public Works Ministry has awarded the estimated KD720m ($2.6bn) contract to build the Subiya Causeway to a consortium led by South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company.

Kuwait’s Central Tenders Committee (CTC) had approved the $2.6bn low bid from the Hyundai-led consortium, which includes the local Combined Group Contracting Company in February 2011, after having received bids in October 2010. However, the award of the contract was delayed until it received final approval from parliament.

The contract award has now been finalised, with the winning consortium currently preparing the performance bond for the deal. This performance bond is expected to be in place by the end of November.

The Subiya Causeway has faced several delays since the tender was first opened in 2006. The project, officially known as the Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah bridge, was repeatedly delayed due to design changes to allow large vessels to pass beneath it and avoid environmental damage. The Public Works Ministry, the client for the project, reopened the prequalification process in 2010.

The causeway will cross Kuwait Bay, linking Kuwait City with the Subiya promontory and Bubiyan Island, where various major projects are proposed. The planned causeway will be 37.5 kilometres long and incorporate a bridge spanning 150-200 metres.

The long-awaited award of the Subiya Causeway project shows that the government is serious about its investment plans. It is hoped the bridge will act as a catalyst for many of the multibillion-dollar projects planned for the Subiya promontory and Bubiyan island schemes.

Canadian firm Malone Given Parsons, in partnership with the local Gulf Consult, is currently working with Kuwait Municipality to prepare a masterplan for the northern sub-region of Kuwait, which includes the Subiya promontory, the location of the proposed Silk City and Bubiyan island.