Riyadh: A consortium of the local Al Rashid Trading & Contracting Company and Germany-based European Aeronautic Defence & Space Company (EADS) may have won the contract for phase two of Saudi Arabia's border fence project, billed as the biggest security project of its kind in the world.
Though the contract award is yet to be officially announced, reports suggest the consortium may soon receive a letter of intent from the client, the ministry of interior, by mid-January. The value of the contract is expected to be worth up to SAR 10 billion ($2.6 billion).
The second phase is expected to take three years to complete and will cover about 6,000 kilometres of Saudi Arabia's borders. The project involves installing a radar-based system designed to detect incursions along Saudi Arabia's border with Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, Oman and Yemen, as well as along its Gulf and Red Sea coasts.
The project is aimed at improving security along the kingdom's land and sea borders.
Over the past few weeks, consortium and ministry officials have been surveying territory across the kingdom in order to finalize technological specifications required to establish the border system.
The other bidders for the contract were the US defence contractor Raytheon and the local Madaf Trading & Contracting in partnership with French firm Thales.
Phase two of the border fencing project is the last phase of the project. The first phase of the project was also awarded to Al-Rashid and EADS in June 2008 and covered the border with Iraq. This covered a length of 900km and included double-lined fencing with surveillance equipment, watch towers and electronic gates.