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Sat 15 Dec 2007 12:00 AM

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Canal enabling work awarded this week

The contract for the enabling work and preliminary excavation work on Limitless' US $11 billion (AED40.3 billion) Arabian Canal is expected to be awarded this week.

The contract for the enabling work and preliminary excavation work on Limitless' US $11 billion (AED40.3 billion) Arabian Canal is expected to be awarded this week.

The contract will be worth $5.5 million and will be completed within two months. Three Dubai-based companies are in the running for the contract.

The canal, which will be 75km in length when completed, will run at sea level from Dubai Waterfront through Dubai Investment Park and Dubai World Central to Jumeirah Golf Estates and back towards the Palm Jumeirah.

It will measure 150m at its widest point and 6m in depth. Completion has been earmarked for 2015.

Speaking to Construction Week, Ian Raine, development manager, Limitless said: "The work for this contract involves enabling and preliminary excavation of the canal. We are also looking at awarding some more contracts over the next couple of weeks."

Bids for the pilot excavation work, which involves excavating 600m x 300m with a depth of 40m on three sites including one in Jumeirah Golf Estates and two in the island canal area, have been invited. This package is estimated to be worth $6.8 million and will be awarded within the next couple of months.

Pilot work is expected to take three months.

Contracts for the main construction of the canal could be awarded by the middle of 2008.

Due to the scale of the project, the work will be divided into several packages.

Raine added: "The project is of such a scale that there is no individual contractor that would undertake that level of work. So we see this being divided up into major contract packages, which could be as many as 10, area by area. And the contractor would be entirely responsible for that area.

"It is a very large project, there is no doubt about it. It is purely the scale. And the way we are dealing with that is to break it down into smaller, more manageable portions. That is why we are looking at a number of contractors rather than a single one. First of all, I don't think one contractor would want to take something on of this scale. You will appreciate that there is a lot of work in getting to the point in satisfying ourselves the contractors are capable of doing the work.

"But our hope is by the middle of next year, most of the contracts will have been awarded."

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