Austria’s Siemens Steel has held discussions with the UAE’s Petrofac Emirates about forming a partnership to bid for the $1bn Emirates Steel Phase III project in Abu Dhabi.

Petrofac Emirates is looking to move into the metals sector and this would give them the perfect entry

Source familiar with the project

The two companies have met to discuss the project, but no agreement has been signed, an industry source tells MEED.

“Siemens Steel always looks for a partner to do the civil works and steel structure when it comes to steel plant projects in the region and this one will be no different,” the source says. “Petrofac Emirates fits that profile perfectly.”

The proposed third-phase expansion of the company’s facilities will involve the construction of a flat product plant with a capacity of 1.2-1.3 million tonnes a year (t/y) of steel plate. The invitations to bid are due to be sent out in the third quarter of 2010, with the winner being announced in early 2011.

Another source familiar with the project confirmed that talks between the two companies had taken place.

“Petrofac Emirates is looking to move into the metals sector and this would give them the perfect entry,” the source says. “Siemens have a good reputation, but have not won a lot of work in the region recently.”

Siemens currently has two other steel projects in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Emirates Steel is owned by Abu Dhabi’s state-controlled General Holding Corporation through Abu Dhabi Basic Industries Corporation.