The contract to build and install Bahrain’s planned floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal will be awarded before the end of 2015, according to Bahrain Oil & Gas Affairs Minister Abdul Hussain Mirza.

“We are evaluating the bids and we will award the contract before the end of the year,” he said in an interview.

“Hopefully the terminal will be ready by end of 2017. Then if we need to import LNG our relationship with many countries is very good. As I have said previously Gazprom has expressed its willingness to provide LNG if we need it.”

Bahrain is currently struggling with a shortage of gas that has weighed on the country’s plans for industrial expansion.

It is hoped that the LNG terminal will ease the country’s gas shortage while projects to increase domestic production over the long term ramp up.

The facility will be fixed, but will have floating storage. The capacity is expected to be 400 million cubic feet a day (cf/d). The successful bidder will sign a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) agreement for an operational period of 20 years.

The scope of work includes the construction of floating gas storage, a ship-unloading system, LNG storage tanks, a regasification and send-out system, marine works, a jetty and other associated works.

Bahrain has been planning a LNG terminal for several years, but the plans stalled after the 2011 protests.