Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) has finalised its plans for an estimated $2bn of new sulphur handling and distribution facilities as it moves to almost quadruple production of the product over the next five years.

Adnoc subsidiaries Abu Dhabi Gas Industries (Gasco) and Abu Dhabi Gas Development Company (ADGD) are in the process of tendering three engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts which engineering firms believe could be awarded by the end of the year.

They cover a new sulphur handling and export terminal at the port of Ruwais in Abu Dhabi’s Western region and two sulphur forming, granulation and handling facilities, one at Habshan, also in the Western Region, and the other at Shah gas field in the south of the emirate.

Gasco is in charge of the first two projects while ADGD, formerly a 60:40 joint venture of Adnoc and US energy major ConocoPhillips, but now wholly owned by the state firm, will oversee the project at the Shah field, which it is developing. Conoco quit the project in April.

All three projects will be linked by a railway line which is being developed by federal rail firm Union Railway.

Prospective bidders handed in formal expressions of interest to Gasco for the Ruwais sulphur handling terminal, which will bring the port’s total sulphur capacity up to 20,000 tonnes a day (t/d), on 10 May, and were sent bid documents during the week ended 7 June. They have been set a technical bid deadline of 6 July and a final commercial bid deadline of 2 August.

During the same week, contractors received requests for expression of interest in the Habshan and Shah facilities, each of which will handle around 10,000 t/d of sulphur. Contractors interested in these deals say that they are now waiting for tender documents from the respective clients.

The projects are part of a series of oil and gas developments, which will bring total sulphur production in the emirate up to around 7 million tonnes a year (t/y) by 2015 from 1.7 million t/y in 2008.

The Habshan facilities will be used to form and granulate sulphur produced through existing facilities and Adnoc’s new integrated gas development, which will add 700 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas, which contains 4.5-7.2 per cent sulphur from 2014 onwards. EPC contracts for the $10bn scheme were awarded in 2009.

The Shah facilities will be used to handle sulphur produced at the field. Adnoc also wants to produce 1 billion cf/d of gas from the Shah field, although this gas will have a sulphur content of up to 30 per cent.