The joint venture developing a $350m aluminium rolling mill at Sohar expects to award the project’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) in June, a source close to the project has told MEED.

The source said contractors submitted bids in February for the contract to the joint venture of Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mill Company (Garmco), Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (Adwea) and Takamul, the investment arm of the state-owned Oman Oil Company. The source declined to name the bidders citing transparency issues.

“The bids are being evaluated and the winner will be announced in June,” the source said. “Work on the project will start almost immediately after the announcement and the joint venture partners are confident the completion date set for the first quarter of 2013 will be met,” he added.   

When completed the rolling mill will boast a total capacity of 200,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of aluminium general coil, foil and paint stock products.

Oman is developing its downstream aluminium industry after it opened the Sohar aluminium smelter in June 2008. The $1.4bn facility features the world’s largest potline and produces 350,000 t/y of aluminium. The complex also includes a carbon plant, a metal casting facility, and port facilities for storage and shipping.