Ground breaking finally began this week on one of the Middle East’s largest port projects, a £730M commercial sea-port on Boubyan Island in Kuwait.
When finished, the port, which occupies a strategic location at the head of the Persian Gulf, will be able to service the huge markets of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran.
Design and construction supervision for the project was awarded to URS Scott Wilson in August 2010 by the Ministry of Public Works in Kuwait.
URS Scott Wilson global head of ports Martin Mannion told NCE that despite the three-year delay to the project, which was originally meant to open last year, works were now moving along.
“There are two contracts, the first which is being completed by China Harbour is for a causeway bridge to the island and the preparatory works are well underway,” he said.
“There will be four phases of marine construction and a major dredging contract to create a new channel. The dredging contract should be awarded towards the end of the year.”
He said this week’s ground breaking marked the undertaking of the first of the marine contracts, awarded to a joint venture of Hyundai and local contractor Kharafi.
Mannion said a prime challenge was the very soft estuary conditions.