Kuwait Port Authority (KPA) has issued the long-awaited tender for the contract to deepen the main approach and basin at Shuwaikh port. Nine companies are prequalified to bid by 20 December for the work, which is expected to take about 18 months.

The scope of works involves deepening and dredging the port basin and channel to 14 metres from 8.5 metres, the construction of four container berths opposite the 21 existing berths and dredging of at least 6 million cubic metres of material.

Prequalification was finalised in 2004, but the scheme was put on hold pending a design review, leading to fears that it would either be cancelled or substantially revised. The project is part of a modernisation and upgrade programme aimed at improving capacity and throughput at Shuaiba and Shuwaikh ports. In 2004, throughput at Shuaiba and Shuwaikh reached 595,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), almost double the throughput in 2000. This year, throughput is expected to exceed 700,000 TEUs. Sharjah-based Gulftainer Companyis the container terminal consultant for Shuwaikh. The Netherlands’ Royal Haskoningis the project’s technical consultant.

The project is the largest element of the programme. An award is expected soon on a separate contract to supply and replace fenders at both ports. The local Alghanim Specialities Companywas low bidder at about KD 9 million ($31 million) for the project, which involves the installation of more than 1,500 rubber fenders at the two ports. Tender conditions stipulate that the fenders must be manufactured in Japan by either Bridgestoneor Sumitomo Corporation(MEED 15:4:05).