Dammam-based GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) has made preliminary awards on all the packages on the GCC electricity grid project. Negotiations with the client are expected to be completed by the end of October, when contracts are due to be signed.

Europe’s ABBwas selected for the six-substation package, which is expected to be worth in the region of $470 million. The package covers 400-kV substations at Al-Zour in Kuwait, Al-Jasr in Bahrain, Al-Fadhili and Ghunan in Saudi Arabia, Salwa on the Qatari/Saudi border and Doha South in Qatar. ABB was low bidder for all six substation lots when prices were opened in mid-August (MEED 19:8:05).

France’s Areva T&Dwas selected for the converter station package, valued at about $190 million. The contract covers the construction of a high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) converter station at Fadhili. Areva was also chosen for the estimated $30 million-35 million control centre and telecommunications package.

The submarine cable package went to the low bidder, Italy’s Pirelli with France’s Nexans, for about $400 million. The work covers a 40-kilometre, 400-kV link between Ras al-Qurrayah and Al-Jasr.

The overhead lines package was divided into four lots. Saudi Arabia’s National Contracting Company was selected for the estimated $95 million lot B1, covering installation of 310 kilometres of double-circuit transmission line between Al-Zour and Fadhili, and for the estimated $37 million lot B4, covering installation of 100 kilometres of double-circuit line between Salwa and Doha South.

Middle East Engineering & Development Company (Meedco), the Saudi affiliate of South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company, has been selected for the estimated $40 million lot B2, involving the installation of 100 kilometres of double-circuit line between Fadhili and Ghunan, and the estimated $105 million lot B3, covering installation of 200 kilometres of double-circuit line between Ghunan and Salwa and Ghunan and Ras al-Qurrayah.

Commissioning of the network is due in 2008. Canada’s SNC Lavalinis the consultant (MEED 11:2:05).