Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (Adco) has tendered a new $50m-plus construction contract, which it hopes to award by the end of 2010.

The company sent out formal invitations to bid on the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract in June. It covers the construction of a new ‘spiking’ compressor unit at the Shah field in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region.

Contractors prequalified to bid on the deal include Punj Lloyd; Dodsal; both Indian; Paris-based Technip and Athens-headquartered Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC). They have been set an 11 August deadline for technical bids with commercial bids tentatively slated for mid-September.

The contract covers the construction of a new compressor, dehydrator facilities, flaring facilities and pressure control vessels.

At least one of the prequalified contractors has requested an extension to the bid deadline citing a large backlog of proposal work, sources close to the project tell MEED. Adco is yet to grant their request.

Oil and gas contractors working in Abu Dhabi expect the volume of onshore project work available in the emirate to decline in the coming year as Adco’s parent company, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, moves its focus offshore.

Adnoc has awarded more than $40bn of EPC contracts for new projects since the beginning of 2009, the vast majority of them onshore, becoming the biggest-spending oil and gas company in the region.