Prequalifiers are understood to include Italy’s Danieli & Company, Germany’s SMS Demagand Austria’s Voest Alpine Industrieanlagenbau (VAI), which built the original Hadeed complex in Jubail. Industry sources say the bid deadline is likely to be extended by at least one month due to some companies having requested additional time to prepare their proposals.

A tender calling for a doubling in capacity of Hadeed’s direct reduction iron (DRI) facility is expected to be released in mid-2003. Tenders are also being drawn up for another electric furnace, ladle furnace and a continuous slab caster.

Commercial production at the existing flat products line of Hadeed, a Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic)subsidiary, began in 1999 and includes an electric steel making unit, a continuous slab caster and hot and cold rolling mills complete with auxiliary facilities. In addition to its flat products facility, Hadeed operates a 2.8 million-t/y long products plant.