The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) opened on 26 October bids from five international contractors for the contract to dredge the approach channel serving Umm Qasr port in the south. The client received a wide range of prices, with bids coming in at $21.9 million up to $91.2 million. The project is aimed at opening up the port to large-scale container vessels (MEED 30:7:04).
According to the announced bid prices, Belgium's Dredging Internationalis the low bidder with a quote of $21.9 million. However, its bid is understood to have certain conditions. The next lowest bids came from Belgium's Jan de Nulat $68.9 million, Royal Boskalis Westminsterof the Netherlands at $74.2 million and Van Oord, also of the Netherlands, at $78.2 million. UNDP is hoping to make a swift award, although this may be hampered by the discrepancy in prices and the fact that several of the bidders offered alternative bids. The contract calls for the dredging and removal of more than 12 million cubic metres of silt that has built up in the approach channel over the years. The project is a continuation of the emergency dredging work carried out by UNDP last year.
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