Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) has pushed back the bid deadline for a $280m contract to build new cross-country crude oil pipeline.

Bids for the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) deal were originally due in on 31 January but KOC has given bidders until 21 March to submit their proposals, prequalified contractors tell MEED.

The deadline was postponed after contractors requested technical clarifications on the 123-kilometre pipeline, a senior source at one contractor says.

The prequalifiers include Norway’s Aker Solutions; Chiyoda Corporation; JGC Corporation; both of Japan; Engineers India Limited; Larsen & Toubro; both of India; GS Engineering & Construction; Hyundai Engineering & Construction; Hyundai Heavy Industries; SK Engineering & Construction; all of South Korea, Lurgi; Technint; Saipem; all of Italy; the UAE’s National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC); the UK’s Petrofac, Canada’s SNC Lavalin, Paris-based Technip, Tefken of Turkey, and the US’ Washington Group.

The winning bidder will build a 30-inch diameter pipeline leading from a series of oil fields in the north of the country to the central mixing manifold at Mina al-Ahmadi, which collects and distributes oil and gas from across the country. The pipeline will be used as back-up in case an existing 48-inch diameter pipeline is unavailable.

The deadlines for two other related projects, pipelines linking the Mina al-Ahmadi facilities with power stations at Shuaiba, Al-Zour, Subiya, and Doha, have also been pushed back, from 7 February to 21 March as part of the same technical clarification process.