Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 30 May 2020

Bahrain awards $4.9bn of tenders in 2019

Contracts worth $740 million were awarded in the first three months of 2020 alone

A skyline of Bahrain's capital, Manama. Bahrain's Tender Board said on Monday that the country's $32bn infrastructure project pipeline is a key driver of its economy. Major projects underway include the expansion of the Bahrain Petroleum Company refinery and the country's international airport. AFP
A skyline of Bahrain's capital, Manama. Bahrain's Tender Board said on Monday that the country's $32bn infrastructure project pipeline is a key driver of its economy. Major projects underway include the expansion of the Bahrain Petroleum Company refinery and the country's international airport. AFP

Bahrain awarded $4.9 billion (Dh17.9bn) worth of tenders for 1,730 projects in 2019, official data shows.

About $2.2bn (45 per cent) of these were awarded for contracts in the construction sector, while 24 per cent ($1.2bn worth) were awarded for contracts in the oil and gas industry, according to the Bahrain Tender Board, the independent regulator of government procurement practices. Some $627 million (13 per cent) worth of tenders awarded were in the aviation sector.

The board did not give comparative figures for 2018, but said that it sought to broaden the base of suppliers and contractors taking part in the tender process last year. The entity oversaw 70.5 per cent of government tenders and auctions last year, up from 57 per cent in 2018.

“The number of limited tenders declined from 25 per cent to 19.3 per cent of the total number of tenders,” said the board’s chairman, Sheikh Nayef bin Khalid Al Khalifa. “This reflects the progress the tender board has made in adopting best international practices to increase its competitiveness and optimise the value of public funds spent.”

Although capital spending is expected to slow in many regional markets this year, as governments begin to tighten budgets due to a Covid-19 induced lull in economic activity, the tender board said the $740m worth of tenders awarded in the first three months of this year “reaffirm Bahrain’s efforts to continue public and private sector spending on major infrastructure projects despite the exceptional circumstances currently affecting the globe”.

The board described Bahrain’s $32bn infrastructure project pipeline as “a major contributor and driver of national economic growth”, citing the $6bn Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) refinery project and the $1.1bn Bahrain International Airport expansion project as examples.

Updated: May 11, 2020 03:12 PM

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