The joint venture partners have given contractors until 5 November to submit technical bids outlining engineering proposals for the deal with. commercial bids due by 19 November.

The engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract covers a 45km, 48 inch pipeline linking Mirfa, to the west of Abu Dhabi, with the Habshan oil field to the south of the capital. The deal is worth an estimated $150m.

The contract will be awarded “within weeks” of the commercial bid deadline, a senior source at Linde tells MEED.

Firms bidding on the deal include Lebanon’s Contracting & Trading and India’s Punj Lloyd.

The pipeline will carry nitrogen from Elixier facilities at Mirfa to Habshan where it will be injected into the oil field to maintain reservoir pressure, replacing the natural gas Adnoc currently uses for this purpose.

The deal will be the last major contract to be awarded on the Elixier scheme in its current format.

The company is currently building two air separation units at Mirfa . These will break down air into oxygen and nitrogen primarily to provide nitrogen for injection into the Habshan field. The two units will have a total production capacity of 660,000 cubic metres an hour of nitrogen when they are completed in 2011.

Elixier is building another air separation unit at Ruwais with a production capacity of 23,800 cubic metres an hour of nitrogen, which is also due for completion in 2011. Output from this plant has been assigned to a new Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge) petrochemicals plant currently under construction at Ruwais.

Linde is the EPC contractor on all three air separation units.