Saudi Arabia preparing to award canal contract, say reports

02 September 2018
Five international companies said to have submitted a bid for Saudi Arabia's Salwa Canal project in June

The Saudi government is preparing to award the contract for the planned Salwa Canal project on the eastern border of the kingdom.

Saud al-Qahtani, a senior adviser of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said in a social media post on 31 August that he is ”eagerly awaiting the details on the implementation of the Salwa Island project.”

Local media reports said the government received bids from five international firms for the contract, worth an estimated SAR2.8bn ($747m), on 25 June.

Local media reports citing government sources at the time said the contract is likely to be awarded in September. However, none of the international dredging and reclamation firms with representative offices in Dubai has so far confirmed their participation in the bid.

“We’ve heard about this project but we don’t know exactly who’s bidding [for it],” one of the sources told MEED in July.

According to local media reports, the canal will be 60 kilometres long, stretching “from the town of Salwa just south-west of the Qatari border to Khor al-Adeed.”

The canal is envisaged to be “200 metres wide and 15 metres to 20 metres deep.” Such depth will allow ships of "up to 295 metres long and 33 metres wide" to pass through.

MEED understands Riyadh is looking to build "a military base and an atomic waste storage dump to service nuclear power stations it plans to build in the country" along the canal.

Saudi and Emirati private investors will be funding the project. An Egyptian company is also to be involved in the project although its exact role has not been specified.

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