Kuwait’s Public Works Ministry is reopening the prequalification to attract more bidders for the contract to build the estimated KD900m ($3.2bn) terminal at Kuwait International Airport.

Contractors had been preparing to submit bids for the deal in late May.

It is understood that at least five international firms were preparing offers. They included:

  • Arabtec Construction (UAE)
  • China State Construction Engineering Corporation (China)
  • Habtoor Leighton Group (UAE/Australia)
  • IC Ictas (Turkey)
  • TAV (Turkey)

The new terminal will contain 30-51 gates, a transit hotel, VIP and first-class lounges, and car parking for 4,500 vehicles.

The new passenger terminal was designed by a team led by the UK’s Foster & Partners, which won the contract in November 2009. Foster & Partners is working with the local Gulf Consult. The design team also includes the UK’s Arup, the US’ Parsons Brinckerhoff and the Netherlands Airport Company. The terminal will increase the capacity of the airport from 6 million passengers a year to 13 million.

The new terminal will be located south of the existing terminal between the two existing runways. The terminal is designed to set a new environmental benchmark for airport buildings and is inspired by local forms and materials. The new terminal building will consist of three symmetrical wings of departure gates, each spanning 1.2 kilometres. The project is targeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Leed) Gold standard and aims to be the first passenger terminal in the world to achieve this.

The total investment in developing Kuwait International airport is expected to reach $6bn. In addition to the new terminal, an estimated $3bn will be spent on widening runways, enhancing control tower facilities and building new cargo facilities.