At least 30 companies purchased prequalification documents for Cairo terminal 3, although contractors say that the strict criteria have prevented all but the largest local companies from applying. Prospective bidders who submitted documents by the 30 September deadline include: FCC Construction of Spain, which has teamed up with the local Arab Contractors (Osman Ahmed Osman & Company); France’s Vinci, with Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC); China State Construction Engineering; Balfour Beatty of the UK; Taisei Corporation of Japan; Orascom Construction Industries, which is understood to have formed a bidding consortium with France’s Bouygues and Besix of Belgium; and Cyprus-based Joannou & Paraskevaides (J&P – Overseas).

A joint venture of local Engineering Consultants Group (ECG)and NACO of the Netherlands, which first drew up designs for the terminal in the mid-1990s, is now working on final changes to the scope of works, and will act as construction supervisor on the three-year project. About 75 per cent of the funding for the new terminal is expected to come from the World Bank, which will also be providing financing for the Sharm el-Sheikh expansion scheme (see Economy).

Similarly tough prequalification criteria apply for Sharm el-Sheikh, which is open only to contractors who have completed projects worth more than $60 million in the past five years. The scope of works includes design and construction of a second terminal building with a total built-up area of 44,000 square metres, as well as construction of associated buildings and the supply and installation of electromechanical works and systems. Invitations to bid are expected to be issued in January 2004 (see Tenders).