Contractors bidding on the $150m contract to build fuel storage facilities at Hamriyah in Sharjah have named two international engineering firms as the frontrunners to win the deal.

Senior executives with knowledge of the deal say the client, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) subsidiary Adnoc Fuel Oil Distribution (Adnoc-Fod) has not opened the prices submitted in August because they are waiting for management approval.

Adnoc-Fod had previously told the bidding firms they would announce a winner by the end of September.

“They say that they need approval from management before they can open the bids and that they haven’t received it yet,” says the business development manager at one of the bidding firms. “We don’t know what the hold-up is.”

When the prices are opened, executives say the deal will be won by either Lebanon’s Contracting & Trading or the local Al-Jaber Energy, who both submitted bids of about $150m. Other bids were for as much as $200m.

“They will be very close, probably within a few hundred thousand dollars,” says a source at one of the bidding firms.

The successful bidder will build nine individual tanks with 83,000 cubic metres of storage capacity for refined oil and gas products including jet fuel, diesel, gasoline and fuel oil.