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Sat 17 Jan 2009 04:00 AM

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Besix-Midmac JV awarded US $797m Doha Centre

Emirati-Belgian contractor Besix, in joint venture with Midmac, has won the largest contract to be awarded in the region this year.

Emirati-Belgian contractor Besix, in joint venture with Midmac, has won the largest contract to be awarded in the region this year.

On January 8, the joint venture picked up the US $797 million (QAR2.9 billion) main construction contract for the Doha Convention Centre.

Construction is expected to begin this week and will be completed in 28 months.

The client is Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company while Hyder along with Arup are consultants on the project. Murphy/Jahn is the architect.

The project was awarded after being re-tendered with the Besix-led joint venture fending off bids from an Arabtec and Greece-based Aktor joint venture and Hyundai.

The contract is the largest that has been awarded this year and could remain in that position for the next few months according to industry speculators.

In a time when companies, including Laing O'Rourke and Damac, have to downsize their staff numbers to combat the global financial crisis, Besix has come out tops with this win.

Speaking to Construction Week, Philippe Dessoy, general manager, Besix said: "We're very happy that we've won this project and it shows that Qatar's economy is strong and work is still carrying on despite the massive crunch everywhere else. This is also very good for us as a contractor in this time."

Tenders for a 500m-tall tower which will be part of the Doha Convention Centre is also expected to go out within the next week two weeks.

South Korea's Samsung and Australia's Multiplex are believed to be among the bidders for the tower.

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