Several potential bidders for the planned phase six expansion of the Rabigh power plant have requested an extension to the bid deadline from Saudi Electricity Company.

The contractors have asked the utility for a 10-week extension to the present 31 October bid date, which would take the deadline to mid-January. According to the contractors, Saudi Electricity has not yet taken a decision but is likely to comply. They expect the utility to officially inform them of its decision in the third week of October.

The utility has already postponed the deadline once from 13 July, following requests for more time from contractors.

The potential bidders for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract include France’s Alstom; Germany’s Siemens; the local Arabian Bemco and National Contracting Company; South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction and Hyundai Heavy Industries; and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Marubeni Corporation.

The Rabigh 6 project, 150 kilometres north of Jeddah, will have capacity of 2,400-2,800MW. The winning bidder will bring power on line for the first time in the summer of 2013. The steam power plant will use oil feedstock.

This is the second time Saudi Electricity has tendered the Rabigh 6 scheme. In August  2008, it received only two bids for the project from Hyundai Heavy Industries and a team of Arabian Bemco and South Korea’s Hanwha Engineering & Construction.

Saudi Electricity could not be reached for comment.