Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge) has invited around five international engineering firms to build a new specialist plastics plant as part of its third-phase capacity expansion project at Ruwais.

Borouge sent out formal invitations to bid on the contract on 17 June, sources close to the project say. The company hopes to award the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract, worth around $150-200m, by the end of the year.

The winning bidder will build a new cross-linked polyethylene plant, which produces a specialist plastic used in cables and wiring, at the Ruwais site. Among the firms invited to bid are two South Korean firms, SK Engineering & Construction and Hyundai Engineering & Construction, and a German firm, Linde, MEED understands.

The project is part of the wider Borouge 3 capacity expansion, which 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 complex in the world.

In May, MEED reported that a consortium of South Korea’s Samsung Engineering and Italy’s Tecnimont were the favourites to win the EPC contracts to build a $1.45bn polyolefins unit and a $500m low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plant while South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction was the frontrunner for the $937m offsites and utilities deal.

Borouge sent out formal letters of award to the three contractors on 26 May, and site preparation work has already started, said Roy Vardheim, chief executive officer at the firm. The company already has sales agreements in place for the added capacity, the majority in Asia.