Barefoot Investor: Gamuda seeks Mideast jobs - (NST, Business Times)

Gamuda Bhd (5398), one of Malaysia's biggest construction groups, plans to bid for more work in the Middle East after completing its third project there.

On October 30, Bahrain's Sitra Causeway Bridges was officially opened by Bahrain Prime Minister Prince Khalifa Salman Al Khalifa.

The RM650 million causeway was completed and opened to traffic two months earlier ahead of schedule.

"All the lessons and experience gained during the project would certainly be valuable to Gamuda in future.

"This is another success added to Gamuda's portfolio. This will certainly gave us more confidence to apply for more projects on both the local and international scene," said Gamuda international projects director Datuk Chua Soon Poh during a visit to the project recently.
The new four-lane dual carriageway is 4.2km in length compared to the previous dual-lane causeway bridges measuring 3.2km long.

The causeway is Bahrain's largest project so far to cater the country's expanding urban development and to reduce traffic congestion coming from Saudi Arabia to Mina Salman and vice versa.

Gamuda started work in November 2006 after beating nine other international companies in an open tender.

The work involves replacing existing causeway bridges with new structures on a revised alignment adjacent to the existing causeway.

The new causeway structures are predominantly post-tensioned concrete designed and constructed to last at least 120 years.

These requirements were met through extensive use of stainless steel reinforcement in the most exposed parts of the concrete structures.

The causeway includes a 200-metre northern marine bridge and a 400-metre southern marine bridge. It has interchanges at Nabih Salleh, Umm Al Hassam and Sitra junction. There is also an underpass at Umm Al Hassam junction.

The bridges also ferry water and gas mains, electricity and fibre optic cables and treated sewage effluent pipes.

A major challenge was how to deal with the environment.

"The challenges include managing traffic obstacles and preserving environment as Tubli Gulf situated between Bahrain and Sitra Island is known for its rich marine and bird life." Chua said.

Complying with Bahrain's laws and construction standards were also challenging.

"The new experience included massive infrastructure and relocation of utility works for the setting up of high and low voltage cables, sewage, gas and irrigation networks," Chua said.

The causeway is the third Gamuda projects in the Gulf. In June last year, Gamuda completed Qatar's 42km Dukhan Highway worth some RM760 million .

It is also building the RM3.3 billion new Doha International Airport in Qatar and work is due to be done by February next year.

Read more: Gamuda seeks Mideast jobs


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