The long-awaited invitation to bid (ITB) package was released in mid-November for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract on the Qatar Chemical Company II (Q-Chem II) project at Mesaieed.Under the bidding schedule, prequalifiers have until 28 February to submit unpriced commercial bids, with priced commercial quotes due on 2 May. The estimated $600 million project involves the construction of a 350,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) HDPE unit and an alpha olefins plant of similar capacity (MEED 8:10:04). The prequalifiers for the contract are understood to include: South Korea’s LG Engineering & Construction, with Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas; Italy’s Tecnimont; Paris-based Technip; and South Korea’s Daelim Industrial Company, with Europe’s ABB. Technology for the two units will be provided by Q-Chem II’s foreign shareholder, the US’ ChevronPhillips Chemical Company. The new capacity will receive ethylene feedstock from the proposed 1.3 million-t/y Ras Laffan ethylene cracker, which is being developed by Q-Chem II and the local/French Qatofin. Commercial bids are due to be submitted in the first quarter by four international groups for the ethylene technology-cum-EPC contract. They are: US-based ABB Lummus Global, with Italy’s Snamprogetti; the US’ Shaw International, formerly known as Stone & Webster, with Japan’s JGC Corporation; Technip; and Germany’s Linde, with South Korea’s Samsung Engineering Corporation. Q-Chem II is looking to achieve financial close and award the contracts in the fourth quarter of 2005. The EPC package for the Qatofin downstream capacity, also at Mesaieed, is expected to be issued soon. Six companies were prequalified 15 months ago to bid for the project, which will use the Unipol PE process from the US’ Univation Technologies. The prequalifiers are Linde, Mitsubishi Heavy Industriesand Toyo Engineering Corporation, both of Japan, Snamprogetti, US-based Bechtel, and Kvaerner E&C, part of the Oslo-based AkerKvaerner Group(MEED 22:8:03).