Abu Dhabi General Services Company (Musanada) has asked firms to extend their bid bonds for the deal to build Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, giving them more time to negotiate with contractors.

Proposals for the planned 278,709 square-metre (sq m) hospital complex on Abu Dhabi Island were submitted in December 2013 and opened in March 2014.

The low bidder was the local/Australian Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG), with a price of about AED3.9bn ($1.1bn).

The second-lowest bidder was a consortium of Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), Beijing-based China State Construction & Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) and Italy’s Techint Engineering & Construction, with a price of about AED4.9bn.

The other bidders were Bam of the Netherlands, with a price of about AED4.9bn, and a joint venture of South Korea’s Samsung C&T and the local Al-Faraa General Contracting Company, at about AED5.1bn.

The work involves the construction of general hospital facilities, as well as trauma, women’s and paediatric centres, with a total of 838 beds. The central area of the proposed medical campus will house restaurants and retail and education spaces. Construction work on the scheme was scheduled to start in 2013.

The project, one of the biggest in the emirate, was originally tendered by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), which will operate the facility when it is completed. Musanada took over responsibility for government construction projects in Abu Dhabi in 2013, midway through the bidding process.