A new consortium has joined the prequalification list for the contract to build the KD1bn ($3.7bn) Subiya causeway.

The UAE/Australian Al-Habtoor Leighton Group has formed a consortium in partnership with South Korea’s Samsung, Italy’s Saipem and the local Alghanim International.

There has also been a number of changes to the consortiums that had originally prequalified for the project.

The ministry re-opened the prequalification process for the contract in February, after using the list of eight groups that it originally prequalified for the project when it was launched in 2006.

Although these companies were asked to reconfirm their interest in the scheme in November 2008, the ministry decided to allow other groups to qualify for the tender.

The submission date for bids is 8 August.

The groups who have prequalified so far are:

  • Saudi Binladin Group, China Railway 2nd Group
  • South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction, the local Combined Group Contracting
  • France’s Vinci Construction Grand Projets, the local Mohammed Abdulmoshin Al-Kharafi & Sons
  • France’s Bouygues, the local Gulf Dredging & Contracting Company, Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries
  • Spain’s Obrascon Huarte Lain International (OHL), Italy’s Rizzani de Eccher, Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), the local Ahmadiah Contracting Company
  • UAE/Australian Al-Habtoor Leighton Group, the local Alghanim International Trading & Contracting, South Korea’s Samsung Italy’s Saipem
  • Japan’s Obayashi Corporation, South Korea’s Daelim Industrial Company, Japan’s Mitsubushi Corporation, Japan’s Toa Corporation, Turkey’s Yapi Merkezi, Turkey’s Kiska
  • Denmark’s Hojgaard, Greece’s Aktor. Geneva-registered Archirodon Construction, Malaysia’s Gamuda, the local Burhan International Contracting, the local Copri Construction Enterprises

The project, known officially as the Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah bridge, has been repeatedly delayed by design changes to allow large vessels to pass under it and avoid environmental damage.

The ministry will award the contract on a design-and-build basis, using a preliminary design prepared by Danish consultant Cowi. It will be 37.5 kilometres long and incorporate a bridge spanning 150-200 metres.

The causeway will cross Kuwait Bay, linking Kuwait City with the Subiya promontory and Bubiyan Island, where various major projects are proposed. The plans include the $77bn City of Silk project at Subiya and a $6bn 530-square-kilometre development including a new port on Bubiyan Island .