Palm Jebel Ali awards infrastructure contract

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UAE-based Al-Rajhi Construction has won a contract worth around US $150 million (AED550 million) for infrastructure works on Crescent A of Nakheel's Palm Jebel Ali.

According to Marwan Al Qamzi, managing director, Palm Jebel Ali, the contract will cover all road construction, utilities and underground services works.

Infrastructure work on the project began last summer after a $350 million contract was awarded to South Korea's Samsung for the construction of eight bridges linking the mainland to the trunk and the crescent sections.

The bridges will eventually be connected to an estimated 125km of roads on the island.

The bridges are expected to be completed by the end of November 2010, with the final phase of the project's infrastructure -work on the ‘spine' and the ‘fronds' - set to finish in late 2012.

Two permanent desalination plants - each with an annual capacity to produce 55,500m³ - are also planned for Palm Jebel Ali. Total daily water demand for the the project is expected to reach 89,000m³ a day by the time it's finished in 2020.

The infrastructure being put in place is expected to serve a population of 1.7 million.

The first stage of reclamation of Palm Jebel Ali is complete, while additional reclamation to widen the spine and lengthen the fronds - announced last year as part of the new masterplan - is under way.

The new masterplan also saw changes to the positioning of the project's water homes, which are now outside the crescent.

Al Qamzi added that the platform for the water homes has also been elevated by 40cm from sea level, while the island itself was elevated by 30cm.

"This was something that we considered from the very beginning of the project," he said.

Al Qamzi said that one of the project's biggest challenges has been acquiring the technology needed for its execution.

"When I first saw the designs for Palm Jebel Ali in 2001, I thought it was science fiction," he said.

"I doubted it because the technology available at the time wouldn't have supported our dreams. Now, in 2008, our Palm islands are well known across the world," Al Qamzi added.

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