According to unofficial bid opening results, the Milan-based contractor’s bid is 11 per cent lower than the second-best price of KD 201 million ($726 million) submitted by UAE-based Petrofac International.

Four South Korean contractors – SK Engineering & Construction, GS Engineering & Construction, Daelim Industrial Company and Hyundai Heavy Industries – complete the list, with respective bids of KD 204 million ($738 million), KD 205.4 million ($743 million), KD 205.6 million ($744 million) and KD 235 million ($850 million). The work covers the construction of a new booster station in south-east Kuwait, consisting of two identical single-stage compression trains, delivering 249 million cubic feet a day of sour gas produced from gathering centres 3, 4, 6, 7 and 21.

The scheme also involves the installation of a rich gas chilling system, gas and condensate dehydration plant, and scrubbers on the main feed line.

It is believed to be the first time in more than two years that a non-South Korean contractor has bid low for a major lump-sum engineering, procurement and construction contract in Kuwait.

Snamprogetti has good experience of booster station work in Kuwait. In 2001, it won the KD 38.9 million ($141 million) contract to build gas booster station 130/131 in the north (MEED 10:8:01).

KOC is to tender several more upstream projects this year