Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry has extended the bid deadline for the main construction package on a major hospital expansion project in Jeddah.

Contractors now have until 17 December to submit bids for the contract to expand the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Jeddah. The previous submission date was 15 October.

The main component of the expansion project will involve the construction of two patient towers, 15 and 18 stories high, and a 24-storey research and academic affairs centre. The new structures will contain 30 operating theatres, 150 intensive care units, a cardiology clinic, neurology clinic, outpatient clinics and emergency treatment facilities.

The scheme will also involve the construction of a 25,000-square metre Oncology Centre and a 25,000-sq m medical support facilities building. The project will also involve the construction of car parking facilities for more than 1,000 cars.

The expansion scheme was designed by the local Care RTKL and Saudi Diyar Consultants. The project manager for the construction programme is US-based Vanir Construction Management.

The project is one of a number of medical schemes that is planned in Saudi Arabia as the kingdom seeks to extend its healthcare infrastructure to cope with its rising population.

The kingdom is preparing to issue tender documents in the first quarter of 2012 for a new SR4.6bn ($1.2bn) King Fahad Specialist Hospital in Dammam.

The planned new King Fahad Specialist Hospital will consist of seven specialised medical centres and will cover a total area of 700,000 square metres. The hospital will have a capacity of 1,500 beds and in addition to the medical centres, the development will contain a residential complex, research centre and an international academy (MEED 30:9:11).