Azerbaijani/Swiss group Socar Aurora is still assessing bids from several companies for the estimated $100m third phase of its oil storage terminal in Fujairah, in the UAE.

According to a source close to the bidding process, the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract is expected to be awarded by March.

Socar Aurora received the bids in the second quarter of 2013 for the project after the front-end engineering and design (feed) phase was completed by Sharjah-based MUC Oil & Gas Consultancy. MUC also carried out the feed on the terminal’s first two phases.

Companies bidding for the EPC project on the third phase include UAE-based groups Albanna Engineering and Topaz Energy & Marine, Indian contractors IOT Infrastructure & Energy Services and Larsen & Toubro, and Italy’s Belleli Energy.

The third phase will expand Socar Aurora’s Fujairah oil storage capacity to about 640,000 cubic metres by 2015. The company is currently carrying out the second-phase expansion to boost capacity by more than 200,000 cubic metres. The EPC contract for the second phase, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2013, was awarded to Italy’s Belleli Energy.

The terminal, located on the UAE’s east coast, will have a final throughput capacity of more than 5 million tonnes a year (t/y).

Socar Aurora is a joint venture of State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (Socar) and Switzerland-based Aurora Progress.