Amec, the project management consultant for Kuwait’s $14bn New Refinery Project, has been asked by one of the prequalified construction companies to delay the deadline for bids on the scheme’s $850m marine facilities package, known as package five.

“Amec is going to have to see what the other prequalified companies say and talk to the client, Kuwait National Petroleum Company [KNPC],” said a person with knowledge of the tendering process. “Depending on what they say, we could see another extension to the deadline.”

If the deadline is pushed back, it will be the second delay in recent weeks. In August, the bid deadline was pushed back from 14 September to 9 November 2014.

The source did not reveal which of the prequalified companies had requested the extension and requested to remain anonymous, stating that they were not authorised to talk to the media.

The prequalified contractors for package five are:

The winner of the deal will be responsible for constructing the following:

  • Pile-supported pier for berthing of a single vessel with equipment for loading and shipping operations;
  • Sulphur pelletising and conveying system including conveyer units and circular storage tanks with a capacity of 60,000 tonnes;
  • Subsea outfall lines;
  • Construction dock for offloading heavy lift items;
  • Offshore sea island located at a depth of 20 metres, about 17.5 kilometres from shore. This will be a piled structure capable of berthing four liquid tankers and loading liquid product via marine loading arms. It also consists of metering systems, a PCN vapour recovery system, power and utility generation, crew accommodations, a control and observation building, mooring and navigation monitoring systems, communications systems, small boat landing, helipad, emergency escape craft, and other infrastructure;
  • Small boat harbour with a sheltered approach, a fuelling depot and berthing areas for support craft.

Earlier in September, KNPC said it had pushed back the deadlines for bids for the first three packages of the NRP, after prequalified companies asked for more time.

In June, when the tenders for the packages were issued, the closing date for submissions was 26 October. Now, the bid deadline is 13 January 2015.

The NRP has seen extensive delays since it was first announced. The scheme has been tendered twice before, only to be awarded and cancelled before construction could begin.

The new refinery is key to Kuwait’s hopes of meeting growing power demand. The 615,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) facility will supply 225,000 b/d of low-sulphur fuel oil for power generation. The scheme will be one of the largest single-phase refineries ever built.