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The reclamation project for new urban reclaimed Zone E1, a site adjacent to Taipa Terminal, is to cost some MOP419.5 million (US$52.5 million) with the works starting within the first quarter of 2015, following a year of delay. As disclosed in the Official Gazette yesterday, the government is to sign a nearly MOP419.5 million contract with the China Civil consortium. Engineering Construction Company (Macau) Ltd. and Hong Kong River Engineering Company Ltd. for the Zone E1 reclamation project will take 685 days to complete the works. The consortium was awarded the contract after the Infrastructure Development Office re-launched a public tender for the reclamation project in June 2014. It had cancelled the public tender process in the previous year when two bidders submitted identical costs for Zone E1 reclamation works of MOP456 million – the lowest of the 11 bids. The cancellation of the public tender has invited lawsuits against the government by the two bidders, one a joint venture of Changjiang Waterway Bureau and Companhia de Obras de Construção and Engenharia Jiao Hang (Macau) Limitada, and another China Road and Bridge Corporation. The incidence has resulted in the E1 reclamation project being delayed from the third quarter in 2013 to the first quarter of 2015. Zone E, which occupies 73 hectares, comprises plots E1 and E2. The 53-hectare E1 is adjacent to the Taipa Terminal, while the 20-hectare E2 plot is near the Macau International Airport on its southeast. The land filling works of the smaller plot E2 was completed in the fourth quarter of 2012. The government plans to have Zone E1 developed as a mixed commercial and residential site accommodating transport facilities for the land-scarce city. The consortium of China Civil Engineering Construction Company (Macau) Ltd. and Hong Kong River Engineering Company Ltd. won the Zone E1 reclamation project with the lowest bid of the eight bids received by the government. The highest bid submitted amounted to MOP692.88 million.