Two companies compete for the project management of the Grand Egyptian Museum
CAIRO: Two international consortiums are now waiting for the final answer as to who will be responsible for the management of the construction and operation of the new Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM).
The museum administration reviewed the presentations of the two companies on Wednesday and will announce the winner soon. According to a museum official, the project manager should be on board by the end of this year.
The Ministry of Culture announced the project management and construction bid to qualified project management firms in August 2003. In mid-October 2003, tender documents were submitted by 15 project management firms. Following a pause initiated by the Ministry of Culture in May 2004 to study the founding proposal, the bid was resumed. Then the applicants were narrowed to a field of two: The Japan-based Pacific Consultants International (PCI) and the EHAF-led consortium.
PCI is a group company that provides consulting and engineering services. It has completed about 94,000 consulting projects over the last 50 years in more than 130 countries.
Today, PCI is at the helm of major projects worldwide. Our skills and expertise are top ranked in global development consulting services, reads the company s official Web site, Our reputation is based on our successful and timely completion of highly complex projects involving the construction of high technology intensive facilities and large-scale economic and urban infrastructure development projects.
With 50 years of continuous experience in the provision and transfer of expert knowledge and technology, PCI can provide its ever growing range of services and expertise to address the diverse and changing consulting needs of the world, adds the PCI Web site.
EHAF is a full-service architecture, engineering, construction management and program management firm. It leads a consortium of 14 international companies with different specialties, from design and technologies to human resources management. Also co-leading the consortium are Hill International, a United States-based construction consultant firm, and Nihon Sekkei, a consultancy firm providing comprehensive and integrated services for architectural design, building engineering, civil engineering, urban planning, landscape design, interior design and relevant consulting and management work.
Tomoyoshi Kato, Nihon Sekkei s deputy general manager for the architectural design division, says that most of the companies in the consortium have worked together, in teams of two or three or more, in previous international projects.
Rather than take the company with the lowest costs, the selection process depends on evaluation and a ranking system. Finances come second, according to GEM officials; negotiations take place with the winner regarding its financial proposal. The priority goes to the quality of the proposal.
During a meeting for the companies of the EHAF-led consortium, Raouf Ghali, Hill International president of the project management group, noted that the presentation is meant to identify solutions for any possible problems, so if the consortium wins they would save time and address the problem immediately.
The idea to construct a Grand Egyptian Museum first came to life in November 1992 through a presidential decree to find a suitable location for the project. Nine years later the Ministry of Culture formed a technical committee responsible for the project. In January 2002, the ministry announced an international design competition under the patronage of Unesco.
The results were announced in July 2003 and four months later the winning team was contracted for the pre-schematic design phase.
Neighboring a timeless wonder, the Giza Pyramids, the new museum is to pay homage to eternal ancient Egyptian monuments, treasures and history, hosting over 100,000 artifacts, 3,500 of which belong to the famous King Tutankhamen, reads the GEM Web site.
Just 2.5 km from the Giza Pyramids, the museum’s site spans over 480,000 square meters. According to the Web site, the total cost of implementation is $550 million: $100 million from the Ministry of Culture, $300 million from Japanese loans and grants and $150 million from international fund raising campaigns.
Mohamed Fahmy, EHAF vice president, says that his consortium includes companies specialized in international fundraising to help raise the rest of the project costs.
GEN is expected to generate 5,500 job opportunities. After its opening, the museum is expected to receive 15,000 visitors per day, totaling 3 million a year.
According to the final design, the museum would be divided into different categories, including religion, kinship and predominant professions, which move in parallel lines across the length of the museum. The lines are divided into eras and intersect, according to their actual overlap in history.
The statue of Ramses II, which was recently moved from a downtown Cairo district of the same name, will stand at the entrance. The museum will also be home to King Tutankhamen s treasures.
Specially equipped rooms are being included to host virtual museums. Cameras connected to the real sites are to send footage to some of these rooms so that GEM visitors will feel as though they are actually at the sites.