Kuwait’s Public Works Ministry has pre-qualified five international contractors to bid for upcoming road megaprojects. A total of 16 companies were disqualified from bidding on the projects.

The pre-qualified companies are:

  • Samwhan Corporation (South Korea)
  • Halla Engineering & Construction Corporation (South Korea)
  • Mapa Construction (Turkey)
  • China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (China)
  • Afcons Infrastructures Limited (India)

The ministry is expanding the country’s roads network through a range of projects estimated to be worth $8.3bn, according to MEED Projects. The largest upgrade project is a 28-kilometre section of the Al-Jahra road in the centre of the country. The $1bn project is being carried out in five phases by the local Kuwait Arab Contractors Company in joint venture with Egypt’s Arab Contractors.

Kuwait is also planning to invest more than $7bn in building a regional road network outside of the capital, as it seeks to draw traffic away from the most heavily built-up areas. The main element is the $3.7bn regional highway project that will link the north and south of the state, and the seventh ring road, which will be an additional cross-country route for traffic.

Some road megaprojects in Kuwait have been slow in fruition. Kuwait’s biggest planned road project, the $2.7bn Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah bridge, better known as the Subiya Causeway, has face years of delays. The project was tendered in January 2010, and Central Tenders Committee approval was given to award the contract to South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company. Saudi Binladin Group and the UAE’s Al-Habtoor Leighton Group had also submitted bids months earlier.

The Public Works Ministry eventually signed the contract in late 2012, but immediately faced a parliamentary investigation into the tendering process. At the moment, it is unclear whether the project will go ahead as planned, or have to be retendered.

In addition, the ministry has again extended the tender closing date for the contract to design and build the estimated $1bn Doha Link bridge. The project, which involves building a crossing that will connect Shuwaikh to the port village of Doha in the Jahra region, has been out to tender for more than a year. Bids were initially due in November 2012. The new deadline for bids is 1 November.