Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge) has delayed by a month the deadline for the first round of bids on its new specialist petrochemicals plant at Ruwais.

The state petrochemicals firm has told prequalified companies that technical proposals for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract are now due in by 30 September, rather than the 30 August date it had originally set.

The deal covers the construction of a cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) plant, which is part of the third-phase expansion of Borouge’s petrochemicals Ruwais complex and is valued at up to $200m.

Sources close to the scheme say that the delay has come as a result of the slowdown traditionally associated with Ramadan, concerns over low numbers of bidders and the possible addition of new firms to the list of prequalified contractors.

Borouge originally prequalified five firms to bid on the deal:

  • Hyundai Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Linde (Germany)
  • Petrofac (UK)
  • SK Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Tecnimont (Italy)

SK, Tecnimont and Hyundai are all understood to have declined the opportunity to bid, leaving only Petrofac and Linde in the running for the deal. Borouge has entered into talks with the other firms in an attempt to bring them back into the bidding and has also approached US engineering company Fluor over participating in the bid round, sources say.

The Borouge 3 capacity expansion will bring the total output at the company’s Ruwais production complex to 4.5 million tonnes a year of plastics, making it one of the largest basic plastics facilities in the world.