Qatar Steel Company (Qasco) has invited contractors to prequalify to tender for a contract to build 1.1 million tonne-a-year (t/y) steel melt shop in Mesaieed.

Prequalification documents for the engineering, procurement, installation and commissioning (EPIC) contract have to be returned by interested companies by 11 July. The expansion project will be built next to the existing steel plant in Mesaieed.

Sources at contractors seeking to tender for the project expect the budget to be abouy $400m-500m.

“Its a big one, we are looking for a partner to go into a consortium,” says a source at a Qatar-based contractor.

The scope of the project includes the installation of 7,000 tonnes of equipment, stretched out over 20,000 metres of plant area. Siemens VAI has been selected to provide the technology for the melt shop. The Austria-based division of the German technology firm will provide a 110-tonne electric arc furnace, a 110-tonne ladle furnace and a six-strand, high-speed billet caster.

Germany’s Inteco is the consultant and project manager for the scheme.

Qasco expects the melt shop to commission in the first quarter of 2013.