Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry has extended the bid deadline for the construction package on the estimated SR15bn ($4bn) fourth phase of its security compounds programme.

Contractors now have until April 2012 to submit bids for the project, also known as CAP 4. The previous submission date was 19 February. The work involves the construction of security headquarters buildings for the Interior Ministry at 13 locations in the kingdom.

The project is the fourth contract to be tendered by the ministry to build a network of security compounds throughout Saudi Arabia. The contract will cover the construction, operation and maintenance of 28 different types of facilities at more than 50 locations. In total, the ministry is expected to spend more than $13bn across the four phases of the scheme.

In July last year, the Interior Ministry received 11 bids for the third phase of the security compounds network. Contractors are still waiting for the project to be awarded, with the local Seder Construction Company and the local Saudi Binladin Group frontrunners to win the deal, according to sources in Riyadh.

The security compounds will be used to house, educate and train members of Saudi Arabia’s public security, civil defence service, fire service, police force, passports division and special security and investigative forces.

The facilities have been designed to include schools, mosques, theatres, civilian dormitories, military barracks, administration buildings, training facilities and buildings for recreation and entertainment.

Most of the security premises will be constructed in and around Riyadh, but facilities will also be built in the provinces of Qassim, Hail, Tabuk, Jeddah, Medinah, Taif, Al-Jouf and on Saudi Arabia’s northern borders.