Abu Dhabi Gas Industries (Gasco) has pushed back the bid deadline for a major new sulphur handling and processing project at Habshan in the south west of the emirate.

The state gas developer has asked prequalified contractors to hand in technical proposals on the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deal by 7 September rather than the 17 August cut-off it had originally set.

The decision came after requests for more time from interested contractors, sources close to the project say. It remains unclear whether Gasco will also push back the deadline for commercial proposals on the scheme, currently set for 28 September.

The winning bidder will build new facilities capable of handling up to 10,000 tonnes a day (t/d) of sulphur. They will be used to form and granulate sulphur produced through existing facilities, before transferring the solid product onto a railway system being developed by federal rail firm Union Railway.

Firms prequalified to bid on the deal include:

  • Dodsal (India)
  • Petrofac (UK)
  • GS Engineering & Construction (South Korea)    
  • Hyundai Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Techint (Italy)
  • Tecnimont (Italy
  • Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) (Athens-based)
  • Saipem (Italy)

The sulphur will come from a Gasco-coordinated project, the $10bn integrated gas development. The project will add 700 million cubic feet a day of gas containing 4.5-7.2 per cent of sulphur from 2014 onwards. EPC contracts for the $10bn gas scheme were awarded in 2009.

The project is just one of a series of oil and gas developments that will bring total sulphur production in the emirate up to about 7 million tonnes a year (t/y) by 2015 from 1.7 million t/y in 2008. As a result, Gasco’s parent company Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) is coordinating a nationwide network of sulphur processing, handling and transport facilities.

Gasco is in the process of tendering the EPC deal to build a new sulphur handling terminal at the Western Region port of Ruwais, which will bring the site’s total export capacity up to 20,000 tonnes a day. Abu Dhabi Gas Development Company, another Adnoc vehicle which is overseeing the $10bn Shah gas development scheme, is set to tender the contract to build facilities similar to those planned at Habshan before the end of September.

Meanwhile, Union Railway, which is overseeing the development of an Abu Dhabi-wide rail network, is set to tender contracts on a railway line linking Shah, Habshan and Ruwais by the end of the year, although it recently delayed the prequalification process for the deals.