International companies following the 17-kilometre subsea pipeline are understood to include J Ray McDermott Engineering, Hereema Marine Contractors and VECO– all of the US – Italy’s Saipem and French-based Stolt Offshore. Several local contractors have also expressed interest in the civil works associated with the scheme.

Most of the work on the onshore Egyptian section, running from El-Arish to the Gulf of Aqaba, is being done by Engineering for the Petroleum & Process Industries (Enppi)and Petrojet, both of Egypt. The 370-kilometre Jordanian section is to be carried out on a build-own-operate (BOO) basis, and has attracted strong interest from regional and international companies.

Gas deliveries are scheduled to start by the end of 2003 at a rate of 1,000 million cubic metres a year (cm/y). The pipeline will have a capacity of 10,000 million cm/y to allow for future extensions to Syria, Lebanon and Cyprus.