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Arabian Canal excavations on hold

The future of Dubai’s 75km-long Arabian Canal mega-project was under threat this week after the client suspended the next stage of the procurement process for excavation work.

Developer Limitless had invited tenders for the second of 10 phases of earthworks contracts for the £7.5bn mega-waterway project in October 2008.

It planned to award the contract early this year. But it has suspended the procurement process despite receiving what it said was “a healthy response” from local and international firms.

“We have contacted them to advise them of the postponement of the award of this contract and have reassured them that we will be in touch as soon as possible to invite them to resubmit their bids,” said a Limitless spokesman.

The developer is blaming economic uncertainty in the region for the delay to the project for which the excavation work is due to be complete by 2012.

The invitation to tender said the second phase would involve excavating 300Mm³ of earth along an 8.5km stretch of the canal route.

Contractor Tristar is continuing with its work to excavate 200M.m³ along 9km of the canal route. Limitless previously said that the second phase of earthworks would have to be carried out at a rate of more than 300,000m3 per day.

Tristar was digging at a rate of between 150,000m³ to 190,000m³ per day when NCE spoke to the firm last November.

The developer has given no indication of when the second phase contract might be let, only saying it “remained
committed” to the project.

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