Nine equipment manufacturers and suppliers have been invited to submit bids for the monorail contract. They include: Monorail Malaysia, Intamin Transportation of Switzerland, the local EBC, American Maglev, the UK’s Severn Lamb, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and Marubeni Corporation, both of Japan, and VWD and Siemens, bothof Germany.

The project involves the construction of a monorail system of about 10 kilometres in length. A series of major stations are planned, at the Palm’s base, the proposed Palm Tower, the village centre and the theme park to be constructed on the crescent of island. Two medium-sized stations will be built at the mid-point of the island’s trunk and a small station is planned for the spine. Each train will have capacity for 200 passengers, seated and standing.

The project will take a year to complete. The US’ Wilbur Smith Associateshas carried out a preliminary study for the estimated $150 million transit system.

Palm Jumeirah will be home to over 2,000 villas, townhouses and hotels. The monorail project will serve the 26,000 residents and 8,000 employees who are expected to live on the island. It will also serve the theme park, which is expected to attract about 5,000 visitors a day.

With reclamation work now complete on Palm Jumeirah, the installation of infrastructure is the current focus. The local/Belgian Bel Hasa Six Construct has recently been awarded an estimated AED 70 million ($19 million), 12-month contract for the Palm Gateway, which calls for the construction of two 360-metre exit/entry bridges to the island. The consultant is a team of the US’ H2L2 with Leonhardt Andra & Partners of Germany (MEED 31:10:03).

Three companies have also been shortlisted for an estimated AED 50 million ($18 million) contract covering the construction of two 135-metre-long bridges, each with a dual-carriageway, and related facilities. They are Bel Hasa Six Construct, the local/UK Dutco Balfour Beatty and Saudi Binladin Group.The consultant is the US’ De Leuw Cather International.

Finally, bids are due to be returned by the revised 14 December deadline, for a contract covering major infrastructure works on the island’s trunk. Estimated to be worth AED 150 million ($41 million), the 12-month contract calls for the construction of roads, sewage and stormwater disposal facilities, a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distribution pipeline, a telecommunications duct and water reservoirs. The facilities will take 12 months to complete. The consultant is Lebanon’s Associated Consulting Engineers (ACE) International.