The project was initially tendered by Adnoc Distribution in 2007. No official reason has been given for the change in client, but the complexity of the scheme, which involves the difficult laying of pipes in the capital, may have been a factor.

Three of the eight international and local contractors prequalified for the project are understood to be preparing to submit technical bids by an extended deadline of 8 May. No date has yet been set for the submission of commercial offers.

The prospective bidders are Lebanon’s Contracting & Trading (CAT), Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) and Egyptian Natural Gas Company.

The work covers the installation of more than 350 kilometres of polyethylene-lined pipes to connect residential and commercial properties to the gas network (MEED 28:2:08).

It also covers about 2,500 residential gas meters, the conversion of the existing bottled gas networks to natural gas, and the construction of primary and secondary pressure-reduction stations. It is part of a programme to extend the network in Abu Dhabi.

Separate contracts will cover Reem, Saadiyat and Yas islands.

The UK’s Hyder Consulting is the project manager. Canada’s Terasen International is the front-end engineering and design contractor (MEED 14:6:05).