Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) has shortlisted nine companies to become the strategic partners for its $1bn Bahrain LNG (liquefied natural gas) Import Terminal.

The shortlisted companies have been announced and a number of high-profile companies from the 21 trying to prequalify have missed out, including Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation, as well as France’s GDF Suez (MEED 1:10:11).

“There are some surprises on the shortlist, but remember a lot of companies were looking to be involved with this project,” a source says. “Most of the companies looking to pick up subcontracting work are just happy that [the project] is moving forward after the recent unrest [in Bahrain].”

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract is anticipated to be released in late 2011 although that could now be later.

“If Bapco and their partner can get the EPC tender out this year then it will be some achievement,” the source says. “A tender in late 2011 or early 2012 means that the completion date would be 2014 or early 2015.”     

The shortlisted companies are:

  • BG American & Global (US)
  • BP Gas Marketing (UK)
  • Excelerate Energy (US)
  • ExxonMobil (US)
  • Golar LNG Energy (UK)
  • Hess LNG (US)
  • IM Skaugen (Norway)
  • Royal Dutch Shell (UK/Netherlands)
  • Vitol Bahrain (Switzerland)

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

The project is being undertaken by Bahrain in an effort to secure the long-term energy needs of the kingdom as it developments its industrial base.

After the recent unrest in the kingdom, the government will hoping that enough gas can be made available to enable the country’s large-scale industrial diversification plans to remain on track.

However, a number of projects may now be delayed in the kingdom due to a number of issues related to the recent events. Many observers believe raising finance in the short term may be one issue that affects big Bahrain projects.