Italy’s Belleli Energy, the local Audex, the US’ Chicago Bridge & Iron, and India’s Punj Lloyd and Tata Projects submitted prices for the work in the 10 October bid round. Vopak opened the bids on 12 October.

The company will reveal the size of the bids in the final week of October, and select a winner for the engineering, procurement and construction deal in November.

Contractors estimate the work is worth more than $110m and expect the deal will be tightly contested. “People are bidding lower and lower at the moment, and the contract will probably end up going for less than Vopak’s budget,” says a source at one of the bidding firms.

Contractors estimate Vopak has set aside $150m for the contract.

The winning bidder will add 600,000 cubic metres of storage facilities to the terminal’s current capacity of 1.5 million cubic metres. It will also build four new berths, bringing the total number at the terminal to 10.

Vopak originally planned to add 1.2 million cubic metres and between four and six berths, but decided to split the development into two phases, following in-house engineering and design studies (MEED 7:8:09).