Preferred bidders named for water conveyor

24 June 2005
Local firms are frontrunners for two large-scale contracts being tendered by the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) under its programme to install a major water transmission system in the western region. The conveyor will distribute water produced at the existing Shouaiba desalination complex and the planned Shouaiba independent water and power project (IWPP). Another large-scale water transmission system related to the Shuqaiq IWPP is expected to go for tender in the first quarter of 2006 (MEED 29:4:05).

A consortium of the local Al-Rashid Trading & Contracting Company, A Hak Pijpleidingenof the Netherlands and Saudi Services for Electro Mechanic Works Company (SSEM) has been named the preferred bidder on the larger of the two packages on offer, which covers the construction of pipelines, reservoirs and pumping stations. The group emerged as the low bidder with a price of just under $600 million, following the evaluation of proposals by the client and its consultant, ILF Consulting Engineers of Austria. The other bidders for the package are Larsen & Toubroof India, and Tekfenand Yuksel Construction Company, both of Turkey.

The preferred bidder on the package to supply about 360 kilometres of pipeline with diameters of up to 80 inches is understood to be the local Aziz Corporation, which submitted a low offer of about $240 million in late April. Other bidders include the local Al-Qahtani Pipe Coating Terminal, Kuwait Pipe Industries & Oil Services Company, Mannesmann Line Pipeof Germany with Noksel Steel Pipeand Umran, both of Turkey, the local National Pipe Companyand India's Welspun.

The preferred bidders still need to be approved by the Water & Electricity Ministry before going to the Royal Court for final approval. Contracts are expected to be awarded in September. Financing for the project will be provided by SWCC.

Preparations are under way at SWCC for the release of bid documents for another major water conveyor in early 2006. The 800-kilometre pipeline system will distribute water produced by the Shuqaiq IWPP. Requests for prequalification (RFQs) were released in late June (see page 25).

The conveyor will transport water to cities in the southwest of the kingdom such as Abha, Jizan and Dhahran al-Janoub. Unlike the Shouaiba project, the largest pipeline diameter in this system will be 56 inches. However, due to the length and the construction of the system in difficult mountainous territory, the cost of the project is estimated to be $800 million-1,000 million. ILF is the engineering consultant.

SWCC is planning two other conveyor projects, one in the Eastern Province and one linking Ras al-Zour, north of Jubail, with Riyadh. Both will deliver water from new IWPPs.

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