Kuwait’s ABJ Engineering and Al-Dar Engineering & Construction Company have emerged as the frontrunners to win two major maintenance deals at crude oil production facilities in the north and west of the country after submitting the lowest prices in a 21 March bid round.

ABJ Engineering’s price of KD49.9m ($172.8m) for the northern facilities deal beat bids from Heavy Engineering Industries & Shipbuilding Company (Heisco), Imco Engineering & Construction, Kharafi National, Al-Meer Technical Services Company, Al-Ghanim International and Al-Dar Engineering & Construction Company; all local, and Ireland’s Kentz Overseas.

Al-Dar Engineering & Construction Company’s proposal of KD46.5m ($161.1m) for the western facilities deal beat prices from Heisco, Al-Ghanim International, ABJ Engineering, Kharafi National, Al-Meer Technical Services Company, Imco Engineering & Construction and Kentz Overseas.

The winning firms will provide mechanical and electrical maintenance at KOC’s production facilities in the north and west of the country.

KOC and its sister company Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) have awarded a series of maintenance contracts in 2009 and 2010 to maintain the country’s ageing oil and gas infrastructure while also increasing production.

KOC hopes to maintain capacity in West Kuwait at 500,000 b/d as part of plans to produce 4 million b/d by 2020.