Contractors have submitted bids for the retendered $700m deal to build a new gas fractioning column for state-refiner Kuwait National Petroleum Company’s (KNPC) Mina al-Ahmadi refinery.

The firms that re-submitted bids by the 2 March deadline include the UK’s Petrofac, Italy’s Saipem, GS Engineering, Hyundai Engineering & Construction, SK Engineering & Construction and Daelim, all of South Korea.

Italy’s Tecnimont was also expected to submit a bid. The contract is expected to be awarded in the second half of the year.

Of the 10 firms prequalified to bid, China’s Sinopec Engineering, Italy’s Technip and South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Engineering declined to bid.

The deal covers the construction of a fourth gas fractionation facility at the plant. The facility will separate associated gas produced in the north and southeast of the country, into its basic components. The Mina al-Ahmadi refinery is approximately 45 kilometres south of Kuwait City.

KNPC originally awarded the contract to South Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction in December 2007, but then cancelled the deal in early 2008 after failing to reach an agreement with SK on the size of the contractor’s payout from the deal. KNPC announced in September 2009 that it would retender the contract (MEED 5:2:09).