The Egyptian group’s offer, totalling LD 130.9 million ($106 million), enabled it to leapfrog the previous lowest bidder, Tunisia’s Petroleum & Industrial Realisation Contractors (Pireco), which this time submitted an offer totalling LD 144.4 million ($116 million). The other companies bidding for the project are STFAof Turkey, Athens-based Joannou & Paraskevaides (J&P – Overseas), Germany’s MAN GHHand Bonattiof Italy.

The project entails the installation of 97 kilometres of 34-inch-diameter oil pipeline and 21 kilometres of 24-inch-diameter gas pipeline, a fire safety system and compressor station. Delays are anticipated on the project because it is dependent on the 530-kilometre Wafa-Melitah twin gas and oil pipeline, which is expected to come on stream in 2004. The latecomer, China Petroleum International Engineering Corporation, was the surprise winner of the major pipeline contract in August. The client is Italy’s Agipwith the local National Oil Corporation(MEED 30:8:02).