UAE-based Dodsal has emerged as the frontrunner to win the main contract on a major gas pipeline in Abu Dhabi, according to sources close to the bidding process.

Dodsal submitted the lowest bid of around $450m for the engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contract on the Habshan-Maqta-Taweelah pipeline project.

The project’s owner, Abu Dhabi Gas Industries (Gasco), is building two 300 kilometre pipelines to supply industries in Taweelah with additional gas.

Italian contractor Saipem was the second lowest bidder, with seven companies in total submitting commercial offers. The EPC contract is expected to be award in July and will cover services over a 34-month period.

The 52-inch-diametre pipelines will connect to distribution manifolds at the Habshan gas hub in the west of the country to Maqta, just outside Abu Dhabi. In addition, there will be a new 52-inch pipeline from Maqta to Taweelah and a 42-inch pipeline connecting two points in Taweelah.

The scope also includes the demolition of two existing smaller pipelines. The tender for the EPC contract was released in January.

Taweelah – located halfway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai – has become a centre for energy-intensive manufacturing industries such as aluminium production. Emirates Aluminium (Emal) is currently undergoing a major expansion of its smelting capacity.

Gasco was formed in 1978 as a joint venture of state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), UK-Dutch Shell, France’s Total and Portugal’s Partex.