Contractors bidding on Kuwait’s $800m New Refinery Project Feed Pipeline have been asked to renew their bid bonds until the end of March, prompting speculation the Central Tenders Committee (CTC) and Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) may be considering retendering the project.

“This is the second time contractors have been asked to renew their bid bond. It looks like there is pressure from some quarters to retender the project,” said one source that asked to remain anonymous because he is not authorised to talk to the media.

In October, India’s Larsen & Toubro allowed its bid bond to expire, effectively withdrawing its low bid, worth $814m, to carry out engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) work for a new pipeline.

Dodsal is the second-lowest bidder and is expected to be awarded the contract if it is not retendered.

The original bidders list was:

The contract’s scope includes the construction of about 250 kilometres of oil feedstock pipelines that will serve the planned 615,00 barrel-a-day (b/d) greenfield Al-Zour New Refinery in southern Kuwait.

The $15bn New Refinery Project (NRP) is one of the most important and controversial projects in Kuwait.

Currently NRP packages four and five are under evaluation and the bid deadline for packages one, two and three is 10 February.

Follow Wil Crisp on Twitter: @bilgribs