According to the bid opening prices, the venture quoted QR 1,782 million ($489 million), some 3 per cent below the next lowest offer of QR 1,820 million ($495 million), submitted by Belgium’s Jan de Nul. Two other bids, from Van Oordof the Netherlands and Geneva-registered Archirodon Construction (Overseas), were opened, while South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction Companyand China Harbour Engineeringwere disqualified on technical grounds.

The contract covers the dredging of about 60 million cubic metres of material to create a platform for the new airport; construction of a 14-kilometre armoured revetment to protect the platform; and the dredging of a short approach channel turning basin and a new quay to handle aggregates and construction materials.

Prequalification is under way for two other packages on the project, covering the foundations for the new passenger terminal and concrete supply. In mid-October, the local Aljaber Engineeringwas awarded an estimated $36 million contract to remove rubbish from part of the site of the new airport (MEED 22:10:04).

The airport is to be built on a 21 million-square-metre plot of land of which about 11 kilometres will be reclaimed. The first-phase development, due to be completed in 2008, will have capacity of 12 million passengers a year.