The local Huta Marine is the low bidder at SR 475 million ($127 million). Its bid is about 10 per cent lower than the second best offer of SR 520 million ($139 million), submitted by the local/Belgian joint venture of AA Turki Group of Companies (ATCO) and Jan de Nul. Geneva-registered Archirodon Construction (Overseas) submitted the highest opened price at SR 600 million ($160 million). The fourth bidder was disqualified on technical grounds.

The contract is part of SPA’s project to increase container handling capacity to 1.9 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) from the current 850,000 TEUs. It also entails construction of six new berths, dredging of the existing channel to 16 metres from 14 metres and installation of eight 40-tonne gantry cranes. The existing terminal is operated by International Ports Services, a joint venture of Hong Kong’s Hutchison Port Holdings Group and the local Al-Balagha Group. UK-based Bruce White prepared the original masterplan.

The SPA is planning a number of other port upgrades across the kingdom. The local Al-Saad General Contracting has received a letter of intent (LoI) for the first package on the Dhiba port expansion. The SR 60 million ($16 million) contract covers breakwater and dredging works.

Bids are due on 13 June for the second package which centres on construction of a 500-metre quay wall and two 15-metre deep berths. Bidders are likely to include Al-Saad, the local PC Marine Services, Huta Marine and Archirodon. The local Beaa is the consultant (MEED 9:4:06).

Huta has also been awarded a SR 40 million ($11 million) contract to deepen the entrances to the docks at King Fahd Industrial port at Yanbu.