The groups bidding for the pipeline contract are Sharjah-based Petrofac Internationalwith Europe’s ABB; Santec Internationalwith Athens-based Alpha Crown Finance; and Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC), in a strategic alliance with the Royal Dutch/Shell Group. An Egyptian consortium has also submitted a bid. It contains Engineering for the Petroleum & Process Industries (Enppi)and Petrojet, the two Egyptian companies building the tributary segment of the pipeline from El-Arish to Aqaba (MEED 15:3:02).

The four bidders submitted a combined package of prequalification documents, technical proposals and commercial bids. ‘The prequalification stage will take about two weeks to complete, the technical evaluation is expected to take another month, and the commercial bids will be opened after that,’ says a spokesperson for the US’ Arthur D Little, which is advising the government on the scheme. ‘We expect the ministry to have selected a project developer in about five months’ time.’

The build-own-operate (BOO) scheme will involve construction of a 370-kilometre pipeline to transport Egyptian gas from Aqaba to power stations in the north of Jordan. Under an agreement signed in June 2001, Al-Sharq Gas Companyof Egypt will provide Jordan with some 1,000 million cubic metres a year (cm/y) of gas for 15 years from 2003, but the pipeline will have a total capacity of 10,000 million cm/y to allow for future sales of gas to Syria, Lebanon and Cyprus. The first delivery of gas will be used to fuel the Aqaba power station, which is being converted to gas-fired production by Alstom of France.