A total of 16 companies have been shortlisted to bid for the PMC, the tender for which was cancelled without explanation last summer. At the time, five companies – Hill International, Fluor Corporation and Turner Construction International, all of the US, Australia’s Bovis Lend Lease and the UK’s Mace International – had been shortlisted. It is understood that all five firms are on the latest shortlist.

The design team, led by Dublin-based Heneghan Peng Architects and including representatives of UK engineering firms Arup and Buro Happold, has completed the schematic designs for the project. Detailed designs are due to be completed in early 2007. The tender for the main construction package will be issued later this year, with work to start in 2008.

JBIC’s loan will go towards financing the PMC and the construction package. The government is contributing about $100 million to the schematic and detailed designs. A fundraising programme will raise the remaining amount required.