The bidders are the US’ KBR, Paris-based Technip, Italy’s Snamprogetti and a team of UAE-based Petrofac International and Indonesia’s Inti Karya Persada Tehnik.

The firms have been invited to submit basic technical proposals and price estimates for the 4 million-tonne-a-year (t/y) facility. They are expected to submit detailed technical proposals in four-five months.

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract is set to be carried out on a lump sum turnkey basis.

The project was initially being developed as part of an integrated LNG scheme bringing gas from Gassi Touil in the southeast. However, Sonatrach dismissed its Spanish partners on the scheme, Repsol and Gas Natural, in late 2007 after the project was hit by delays and cost overruns.

Algeria has LNG production capacity of 20 million t/y from facilities at Arzew and Skikda in the northeast. A new 4.5 million-t/y train at Skikda is also under development.