French firm wins Western Desert work

02 November 2002

France's Schneider Electrichas been awarded a Eur 11 million ($10.8 million) contract to provide electrical equipment and engineering on the two main onshore sites of the Western Desert gas project. The company will supply complete power management systems, medium-voltage switchgear, oil transformers and low-voltage components. Schneider Francewill work with Japanese main contractor JGC Corporationon the Wafa gas field production site and Schneider Italy, with Italian contractor Tecnimont,on the Wafa coastal treatment plant. Overall project management will rest with the French arm, which will co-ordinate a Franco-Italian engineering team to ensure technical compatibility between the sites. The contract is due for completion in August 2003.

The year has seen a rush of major awards on the estimated $4,500 million Western Desert project. In January the JTS consortium, comprising JGC Corporation, Tecnimont and its French subsidiary Sofregaz, was awarded the $1,000 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the Wafa gas field production and treatment package. In September another French firm, Bouygues Offshore, was appointed to carry out engineering, procurement, installation and construction (EPIC) work on a subsea production system (MEED 27:9:02; 8:2:02).

The ambitious plan to exploit Libya's huge gas reserves for export was born in 1999 when state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC)signed a deal with Agip Gas, a 50:50 venture between Italy's Eniand NOC, to construct a gas pipeline between Libya and mainland Europe. On completion, due in 2004, 10,000 million cubic metres a year of natural gas will be delivered through a 32-inch-diamater underwater pipeline - the deepest of its kind in the world - via Sicily to Italy.

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