Four international contracting groups have submitted commercial construction bids to Qatar Liquefied Gas Company (Qatargas) for its $1.2bn plateau maintenance project.

The winning bidder will help Qatargas maintain its liquefied natural gas (LNG) output of 10 million tonnes a year at its Qatargas I project at Ras Laffan until 2030.

A source close to the project says the four groups that submitted commercial bids on 25 October were France’s Technip with Japan’s Chiyoda Corporation; Japan’s JGC Corporation with South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction; Italy’s Saipem; and Japan’s Toyo Engineering Corporation in a consortium with South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction.

“All the companies submitted commercial bids and we have been told that an award will be made by the end of the year or possibly in early 2010,” says the Doha-based executive.

The four groups submitted their technical bids on 30 September (MEED 9:10:09).

The Technip/Chiyoda team carried out the front-end engineering and design (Feed) contract for the project.

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deal runs for three years and four months, and requires the winning group to build a sulphur-recovery unit and undertake offshore drilling and modification works.

Qatar Petroleum owns 65 per cent of Qatargas I and international companies own 35 per cent.