EXCLUSIVE: KEC project chief flags tenders for May

Two parts of 'enabling work' soon up for grabs in Saudi mega-project

The US $8 bln project has reached a critical stage
The US $8 bln project has reached a critical stage

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The Knowledge Economic City in Madinah, KSA, will very soon accept tenders for the main infrastructure and gated communities contracts, according to its project director.

Mark Dickson told Construction Week that in the last six months the US $8 billion project has closed out the infrastructure design stage and some of the initial residential projects and it is now looking to procure them.

“This is the procurement for the main contracts: the infrastructure contracts and gated communities. There will be a tender probably next month for these infrastructure elements, including site grading; all of what we would call ‘enabling work’.”

Two contracts – for electrical substations and sewerage pipelines – were signed earlier this year, according to Zubayr Andersson, the project’s research manager.

Dickson expects a lengthy procurement time for the rest, as contractors will bid for the almost-endless design and construction aspects of this unprecedented project for the city – which will essentially be completed in stages based on demand.

“As a major developer our aim is to provide the infrastructure and about 20% of the facilities overground. Our aim is to provide 220 hectares of infrastructure; that will be developed and then when that reaches critical mass the rest will be rolled out in phases based on demand.”

He added that the critical stage in the development of the site – set to create an estimated 20,000 job opportunities, has created a “mixed sense of apprehension” in the office.

“We’ve almost been a victim of our own success as we’ve seen an increase in demand for our services on the back of this project, but that hasn’t slowed us down.”

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