The lowest price is understood to have come from Morganti, at $18.3 million, followed by a team of Contrack Internationaland the local Orascom Construction Industriesat $18.9 million, and ABB SUSAat $20.5 million.

The work entails laying up to five kilometres of pipes for sewage collection and the construction of two wastewater-pumping stations. It is the fifth in a series of seven contracts in the secondary cities programme, which is scheduled to be completed in 2005 (MEED 23:11:01).

The first phase at Mansoura, which mainly involves the construction of a water treatment plant, is being carried out by ABB SUSA in a contract valued at $44 million.

USAID is also backing an estimated $100 million programme for the construction of wastewater facilities in the Middle Egypt areas of Beni Suef, El-Minya and El-Fayoum. Bids are due by a revised closing date of 13 February (MEED 26:10:01).