Limitless delays work on the Arabian Canal

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The developer remains committed to the project

The future of Dubai’s 75km-long Arabian Canal mega-project was under threat this week after the client suspended the procurement process, according New Civil Engineer, leading UK magazine for construction industry professionals.

A slowdown in UAE water development projects has forced dredging company, Van Oord, to relocate a majority of its Dubai-based staff to work in other parts of the world, says Construction Week Online.

Developer Limitless had invited tenders for the second of 10 phases of earthworks contracts for the £7.5bn mega-waterway project in October 2008. The first phase of the project involved digging 200 million cubic meters of earth; the entire canal entails the excavation of 1.1 billion cubic meters of soil.

Limitless planned to award the contract early this year. But it has suspended the procurement process despite receiving what it said was “a healthy response” from local and international firms.

In late November 2008 the developer announced that it is holding off on selling land plots due to the global financial crisis, but it said construction of the canal is proceeding as planned.

“We have contacted them to advise them of the postponement of the award of this contract and have reassured them that we will be in touch as soon as possible to invite them to resubmit their bids,” said a Limitless spokesman.

The developer is blaming economic uncertainty in the region for the delay to the project which is due for completion in 2012.

The invitation to tender said the second phase would involve excavating 300Mm³ of earth along an 8.5kmstretch of the canal route.

Contractor Tristar is continuing with its work to excavate 200M.m³ along 9km of the canal route. Limitless previously said that the second phase of earthworks would have to be carried out at a rate of more than 300,000m3 per day.

Tristar was digging at a rate of between 150,000m³ to 190,000m³ per day when NCE spoke to the firm last November.

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