KOC says that the three original bidders – Oslo-based Aker-Kvaerner, Paris-based Technipand Japan’s JGC Corporation– will be invited for the retender, as well as three US-based contractors – Kellogg Brown & Root, Bechteland ABB Lummus Global. When bids were submitted in April, AkerKvaerner was the clear low bidder for the contract with a price of KD 234.7 million ($779 million), some 45 per cent lower than the next offer submitted by Technip. KOC said that the contract would be retendered once all the necessary procedures had been completed. The expectation among contractors is that it will go for rebid in the first quarter of 2004.

KOC has not given a reason for the retender, which has come as a surprise, given the price differential in the original bidding.

The project calls for the construction of 11.4 million barrels of crude storage capacity to be built at Ahmadi. The US’ Parsons Engineering Corporationhas carried out the front-end engineering and design (FEED) package.