The Dutch firm will carry out the dredging and land reclamation works and Archirodon will build the breakwater and the crescent-shaped barrier. Work on both contracts is scheduled to be completed by August 2002.

DPD awarded a $270 million contract to Perkapalen Mesra to carry out the works in late May. The Malaysian company formed a joint venture with Ranhill, also of Malaysia, to carry out the work. However, in early October, Ranhill withdrew from the joint venture for financial reasons (MEED 26:10:01; 8:6:01).

China Railway & Engineering Corporation (CREC) is carrying out the dredging and land reclamation works for the second island (MEED 15:6:01). ‘Work is progressing to schedule with CREC and remains unaffected,’ says a project source.

The estimated $3,000 million Palm Islands project centres on the creation of two islands. Each island will be in the shape of a palm tree with 17 fronds and a trunk. The islands will extend five kilometres offshore and will each be five kilometres in diameter. Each island will be built from about 80 million cubic metres of sand and rock dredged from the sea bed and mined from quarries.

Some 2,000 villas, 40 luxury boutique hotels, two marinas and a water theme park will be built on the islands, as well as bridges, tunnels, a shopping complex and related entertainment facilities.