State-owned Qatargas and the US’s Fluor Corporation have launched eight separate construction packages for the estimated $1bn gas recovery scheme at Ras Laffan after a 20 May meeting with contractors.

Between 18 and 20 firms have been invited to express interest in the eight construction packages, a source close to the project tells MEED.

Tenders for two packages, piling and causeway have already been released. The remaining six are expected to be released between September 2010 and July 2011.

The packages include the construction of the central compression area, off-plot area, buildings in the central compression area, and electrical, instruments and telecommunications.

“Separate prequalification documents will be issued for each package. Contractors can bid on more than one package, but will not be awarded more than one package,” explains the source. 

Fluor, which was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract on 18 April, will assess the bids and select the contractor (MEED 18:4:10).

“Technically, Qatargas will award the contracts, but Fluor will assess the quality of the bids”, says the source.

Fluor will provide compressors and supporting utilities, as well as day to day management to enable boiled-off gas to be collected from liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships and compressed at a central facility.

The gas will then be sent to the LNG producers to be consumed as fuel or converted back into LNG. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2013 or early 2014. When fully operational, the scheme will recover some 600,000 tonnes of LNG a year.

The company completed the front-end engineering and design (Feed) study for the project in the first half of 2009.

The project was delayed several times in 2009, with Qatargas seeking to profit from falling construction costs across the region (MEED 16:12:09).