South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction has emerged as frontrunner to win a contract to provide electrical works for Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), according to sources close to the bidding process.

Hyundai was the lowest engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bidder with an offer of $274m, and is expected to win the contract to build elevated substations at oil fields in the southeast of Kuwait.

The second and third lowest bidders were South Korean group SK Engineering & Construction and Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) with respective bids of $385m and $394m, according to sources.

KOC, a subsidiary of state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), is expected to award the EPC contract after the bids have been fully assessed. Other international contractors who submitted bids for the project, include Italy’s Saipem and South Korea-based GS Engineering & Construction.

UK-based engineering group Amec won the front-end engineering design (feed) and project management consultancy (PMC) contracts for the project.

The deadline for EPC bids had been pushed back several times from the originally scheduled 19 February deadline, with no reason given by KOC. At least 17 companies were prequalified to bid for the EPC deal.