Kuwait’s Imco Engineering & Construction has emerged as the frontrunner for a major maintenance deal at the Shuaiba refinery.

Imco’s price of $113.7m beat proposals from Integral Services Company, KCC Engineering & Contracting Company, Al-Meer Technical Services Company, Al-Dar Engineering and Construction Company, Heavy Engineering Industries and Shipbuilding Company (Heisco) and Kharafi National; all local.

Technical and commercial proposals were submitted on 9 March. Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) had originally set a 16 February deadline. The state refiner postponed the deadline by a month to allow further technical discussions with contractors on the project (MEED 14:2:10).

The winning bidder will perform mechanical maintenance at the refinery for five years. The 195,000 barrel a day crude oil refinery is located 50km south of Kuwait City in the Shuaiba Industrial Area.

The contract is one of a series to be tendered by KNPC and its sister company, state oil and gas producer Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) in 2009 and 2010 as they move to sign up firms to oversee the maintenance and operation of their facilities.

In the second half of 2009, Kuwait awarded four contracts worth $430m to maintain the country’s ageing oil and gas infrastructure. The contracts began in January 2010. The local Gulf Spic won two contracts. The first is to oversee the maintenance of KOC’s infrastructure in the south and west of the country. The second is for the maintenance of KNPC’s Mina al-Ahmadi refinery, 45 kilometres south of Kuwait City.

Local Kharafi National also won two contracts. They cover KOC’s infrastructure in the east of the country and KNPC’s Mina Abdullah refinery in the south.