Saudi Binladin submits low bid for girls’ college contract

25 July 2008
Saudi Binladin Group is the low bidder for the multi-billion-dollar contract to construct a girls’ college next to King Saud University in Riyadh.

The firm’s bid of SR8.8bn ($2.4bn) is ahead of other bids from the local Al-Rashid Trading & Contracting Company (RTCC), with a price of SR9.7bn, the Swedish ABV Rock, with SR10bn and Saudi Oger, which bid SR10.7bn.

The project will cover approximately 1.3 square kilometres and have 12 buildings for educational faculties.

“The kingdom does not have a college for girls so it is covering a very big area,” one source close to the project tells MEED.

“We are talking dentistry, languages, art and medicine.”
It will be located close to the existing King Saud university but will be bordered off, in keeping with the kingdom’s policy of segregating male and female students.

A decision on the winner is expec-ted from the client, King Saud University, in August and construc-tion will start within four months.

It is the latest in a series of university tenders in the kingdom. Bids have recently been submitted for a university building at Taibah University near Medina, with an award for the SR450m contract expected soon.

Saudi Oger is already building the SR11.3bn King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (Kaust) for Saudi Aramco near Jeddah, in the west of the kingdom.

But questions remain over the level of demand there will be for places at the girls’ college.

“I do wonder whether there are enough girls to use the project,” says the source. “But maybe it is for the future. The country is booming and they have enough money.”

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