Technical bids are now expected to be submitted in September for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and equipment supply packages on the expansion of the Gulf Industrial Investment Corporation (GIIC) plant at Hidd.

The delay in the bidding process has been prompted by the acquisition by Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) of the 50 per cent stake in GIIC held by Brazil’s Companhia Vale do Rio Doce and the consequent decision to carry out the construction of a 6 million-tonne-a-year iron pelletising plant as an expansion to the existing facility rather than a grassroots scheme, bringing project costs down by some $120 million to about $230 million. The three original bidders Japan’s Kobe Steel, Germany’s Siemens and Italy’s Danieli & Company are now in discussions with GIC over revisions to the scope of works. GIC is also planning to build a steel complex at Hidd, incorporating a direct reduction iron (DRI) unit, a meltshop and a rolling mill (MEED 9:6:06).