Hajj terminal bidders are cleared for BOT take-off

TAV, Saudi Oger and Bin Laden Construction compete for airport facilities upgrade in Jeddah

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By  Conrad Egbert Published  March 11, 2006

Contractors including Turkey’s TAV, and Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Oger and Bin Laden Construction are chasing the contract to build the new US $250 million (SR938 million) Hajj terminal in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. And it is understood that contractors hoping to win the high- profile PPP project will need to tie up with airport operators from Islamic countries. Saudi Arabia’s Presidency of Civil Aviation (PCA) has invited companies to bid for the renovation and upgrading of the existing Hajj terminal at the King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah. “Even though the project says renovation and upgrading, there will be a lot of new construction taking place, as the terminal is made up of a number of tents at the moment,” said Ani Ray, regional director, TAV Gulf. “Bids for the terminal are supposed to be handed in sometime in the middle of July.” The contract is expected to be awarded in the second half of this year, and is likely to be let on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis. Work is expected to begin by the end of this year and will be finished within two years. “The terminal will spread across 500,000m2 of land and the work will involve the construction of one big permanent terminal building,” said Ray. “TAV and a Malaysian company have already prequalified for the project, while some other companies including Saudi Oger and Bin Laden Construction have been asked to tie up with Islamic airport operators in order to be eligible to compete for the contract,” he added. The US-based International Finance Corporation (IFC) is the consultant for the project. The facilities at the airport have been rendered insufficient to meet growing passenger traffic, both in terms of capacity and quality of services. The project is aimed at improving the quality of Hajj travel by using private sector participation to rehabilitate and operate the terminal. IFC’s role is to advise on structuring and implementing the project through a fair, transparent, and competitive bidding process. This project is expected to create a model for further public private partnerships in Saudi Arabia. The existing Hajj Terminal accommodates the one million or more pilgrims who make their way to Mecca each year. The capacity of the terminal at any one time is estimated at 50,000 for a period of up to 18 hours during arrival and 80,000 for periods of up to 36 hours during departure. Roofed by a fabric tension structure that covers 40.5 ha, the terminal provides toilets, shops, benches and banking facilities for the pilgrims.

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