Saudi Arabia’s Higher Education Ministry plans to award an estimated $150m contract to design and build a new hospital at Najran University in Najran Province in August.

The ministry invited contractors to bid on the project in February this year. It had planned to award the contract in June, but chose to delay the construction schedule to allow contractors time to finalise joint ventures for the highly technical project, says a source at Najran University.  

The list of bidders has been kept confidential, but the hospital is scheduled for completion in 2014.  

Najran Province is located in the southern part of Saudi Arabia and shares a border with Yemen. It has around 500,000 people and is one of the fastest growing populations in the kingdom. At present Najran has just four major hospitals.

In late-2009, Turkey’s Baytur Construction & Contracting Company started building the estimated SR3bn ($800m) teaching hospital at King Khaled University (KKU) at Abha, which is in the Asir Province, adjacent to Najran.

The three-year contract covers the construction of an 800-bed student hospital and nine buildings of four to five floors to be used as medical, dentistry and pharmacy colleges, and a library (MEED 24:12:09).