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South Korea slows the pace with sole bridge bidder


AMEC IS negotiating a Won170bn ($13bn) deal to build a second suspension bridge linking South Korea's Incheon International Airport, located on an offshore island, with the mainland.

The firm has been chosen as preferred bidder for the 10.25km structure by South Korea's construction and transportation ministry after submitting the only bid for the project.

Amec originally submitted its proposal in February, and a formal tender to attract additional bids closed last month without attracting any further offers. Now measures to ensure negotiations with Amec are 'transparent and credible', have resulted in a six month delay to the start of the project which is rescheduled for the second half of 2002 with completion in early 2007.

The controls will form part of the detailed contract negotiations over the coming months that will include the level of government funding for the project.

The bridge will connect Incheon airport to Songdo City, giving access to the southern part of the country.

The proposal for a second crossing was originally made as a build-operate-transfer concession by Canadian outfit Agra in September 1999 in joint venture with the Incheon city authorities. Five months later, in February 2000, Amec bought Agra in a $338M deal.

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