Project sources say the replacement company will be expected to take on JGC’s commitments at the same price and with little alteration to the conditions and liabilities offered by the Japanese company. JGC’s former partners in the consortium are South Korea’s Daelim Industrial Company and Iran Marine Industries Company (Sadra)and Sazeh Consult, both local.

If neither contractor proves suitable, the client, Iran Offshore Oil Company (IOOC), will enter negotiations with the second-placed bidder – Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries, which bid in consortium with Sharjah-based Petrofac Internationaland Jahanparsand Kayson Group, both local. Project sources say a decision should be reached on the preferred bidder by the end of October.

The Kharg plant will provide feedstock for an ethane cracker, now under construction by Technip. The client for that project, National Petrochemical Company (NPC), has expressed interest in taking over the NGL project from IOOC to accelerate its progress.