Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) has given the country’s Central Tendering Committee (CTC) the green light to tender the main engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the first phase of the Jurassic natural gas facility, according to a source close to the project.

“The client has sent documents to CTC,” the source says. “The tender is now expected to be issued in September.”

The deal is estimated to be worth between $3.5bn and $5bn.

Documents sent to CTC stipulate that the contract can only be won by a consortium of two contractors, according to the source.

The lead contractor in the consortium must be listed on the qualified list category 14-A. This category lists contractors that are considered by Kuwait to have the largest capacity for carrying out major schemes.

The second member of the consortium must be listed on the qualified list category 14-B. This category is a step down from 14-A and lists contractors that are considered to have slightly less capacity to take on large projects.

Documents sent to CTC stipulate that the smaller partner in the consortium will not be able to take on more than 40 per cent of the scheme, according to the source.

The first phase of the Jurassic natural gas facility will be located in Kuwait’s Al-Ahmadi governorate and has been designed to produce 590 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas.

The project is being developed to meet Kuwait’s growing gas demand. The government plans to produce more than 4 billion cf/d by 2030, primarily to meet power generation requirements. The Opec member currently burns a large volume of oil products to meet its utility needs.

In December 2016, KOC awarded the US-based Black & Veatch a licensing technology and related services contract for sulphur recovery and acid gas removal units to support natural gas processing at the first phase of the Jurassic natural gas facility.

The phase is scheduled to be completed in 2021.