Sahoo said that Gasco plans to award by year-end its first engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract on the OGD-3/AGD-2 programme. Commercial bids are due to be submitted by mid-October by four contractors for the estimated $1,300 million OGD-3 Habshan plant and natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline to Ruwais. The bidders are: the US’ Bechtel; Japan’s Chiyoda Corporation; JGC Corporation, also of Japan; and Paris-based Technip.

According to Sahoo, the next Gasco award on the programme, due in January, will be the estimated $1,000 million contract to expand the Ruwais fractionation plant through the addition of a third train and the construction of new export facilities. Six companies, including the four bidders for the OGD 3 package, are prequalified to submit technical bids by late October, although at least two are not expected to bid.

Gasco’s final award, set for February 2005, will be the estimated $700 million AGD-2 NGL recovery package. The same six companies as on the Ruwais fractionation plant are prequalified to submit technical bids by early November.

Two packages on the OGD-3/AGD-2 programme fall outside Gasco’s responsibility. For the estimated $200 million OGD-3 gas gathering package being handled by Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (Adco), four groups are due to submit commercial bids in mid-October. For the other contract, covering the construction of condensate storage tanks at Ruwais for Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (Takreer), about seven companies are preparing to submit commercial bids in mid-October.

On the Habshan gas complex expansion project, Sahoo said that the completion of the front-end engineering and design (FEED) package is imminent. ‘At the moment, we are looking at tendering two packages, covering the new train and the SRU [sulphur recovery unit],’ Sahoo said. ‘The first package is expected to be awarded in mid-2005 for the SRU, while the new train is expected to be awarded in the third quarter.’