Qatar Petroleum (QP) is expected to issue tender documents by the end of April for the main construction contract for the new Qatar National Museum.

QP has prequalified eight contractors and will issue tender documents by the end of the month, says a source close to the project.

The successful bidder will build the museum’s steel superstructure and install the cladding and glazing on the building’s exterior. It will also complete the mechanical, electrical and plumbing works, along with some fit-out work inside the building and landscaping work outside.

QP expects to award the construction contract in September this year and the work should be completed by October 2012. The museum is scheduled to open in November 2013 when all of the other work on the project is completed.

QP is managing the construction of the project on behalf of Qatar Museum Authority.

Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, the museum will be built on two plots of land next to the existing Qatar National Museum. The two plots on the corniche cover an area of about 150,000 square metres, separated by Al-Muthaf Road.

Most of the old museum will be demolished, but the old palace building that was used by Qatar’s ruling family in the early 20th century will remain as part of the new museum complex.

The existing museum was opened in 1975 in the old palace building. By the time it was shut in 2007, it had expanded to include an archaeological and natural history museum building, a lagoon, a maritime museum, and an aquarium (MEED 12:1:10).