South Korea’s Samsung Construction & Trading (C&T) has emerged as the frontrunner to win a major civil works contract, ahead of Kuwait’s long-awaited Clean Fuels Project (CFP) tender.

Samsung’s price of KD38.3m ($136.4m) beat rival proposals from six other engineering and construction firms. Bids were submitted to state refiner Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) on 9 October, according to the Central Tenders Committee (CTC), which monitors major public tenders.

According to sources close to the project, Hyundai Engineering & Construction, also of South Korea, came in second place with a price of KD43.9m ($156.3m), 14 per cent higher than Samsung’s proposal. The highest bid came from Italy’s Saipem, which submitted a price of KD63m ($224.2m).

At least 12 firms had been prequalified to bid in May.

Bidder Price (KDm) Price ($m)
Samsung C&T (South Korea) 38.3 136.4
Hyundai Engineering & Construction (South Korea) 43.9 156.3
Daewoo Engineering & Construction (South Korea) 50 178
SK Engineering and Construction (South Korea) 53.3 189.7
ABB (Switzerland) 54 192.2
Daelim Industrial (South Korea) 57.2 203.6
Saipem (Italy) 63 224.2
Source: MEED

The project includes preparation works for the CFP, which will upgrade and expand the Mina al-Ahmadi and Mina Abdullah refineries, along with the retirement of the aging Shuaiba refinery.

The estimated $18bn megaproject, which will be tendered in three packages, will increase the processing capacity of the Mina al-Ahmadi and Mina Abdulla refineries to 800,000 barrels a day (b/d) from 736,000 b/d by 2017, following the retirement of processing facilities at the Shuaiba refinery.

Samsung C&T signed a KD15.6m ($55.5m) deal on 15 July with KNPC, to build a new tail gas treatment unit at the Mina al-Ahmadi refinery by the middle of 2014.