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Mon 10 Jan 2011 09:55 AM

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Saudi Aramco gives DSI initial approval for Riyadh contract

Sources say Dubai contractor is in final stages of negotiations with Aramco over Kapsarc

Saudi Aramco gives DSI initial approval for Riyadh contract
Drake & Scull chief executive Khaldoun Tabari

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest state-owned oil company, agreed in principle to award Drake & Scull International a contract for commercial buildings at King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, two people with knowledge of the deal said.

Kapsarc includes energy and environment research centers, conference and education centers, a library and a housing complex. The project, located in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh, is designed by award-winning architect Zaha Hadid. The two people declined to be identified because the contract has yet to be signed.

“We are bidding for the project, but no contract has been signed,” Zaina Tabari, chief corporate affairs officer of the Dubai-based contractor, said Sunday when asked about the deal. “We are in the final stages of negotiations.”

Construction companies in Dubai are searching for work outside the emirate after the global credit crisis caused the cancellation of half the planned projects. Property prices slumped by almost 60 percent since their peak in mid-2008, Ahmed Badr, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG estimates.

Drake & Scull in October submitted a bid to build commercial buildings at the project, MEED magazine reported in November. Turkey’s Baytur Construction & Contracting Co, El- Seif Engineering & Contracting and Saudi Oger were also bidders on the project, MEED said.

Drake & Scull on November 9 said it will announce an acquisition in Saudi Arabia, one day after the company said it bought a 65 percent stake in Saudi Arabian mechanical, electrical and plumbing company Drake & Scull International Saudi WLL for SR243m ($64.8m).

The company formed a partnership with Al Zamil Group to establish a foothold in Saudi Arabia, where the government is spending about $400bn on infrastructure projects in the next five years.

Drake & Scull said December 21 it had an order backlog valued at AED5.5bn at the end of September.

 

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