The extension was made at the request of the 15 prequalified international contractors, who said the original 24 August deadline did not give them enough time to prepare their offers.

Known as GK3, the 48-inch wide pipeline scheme has been split into three packages.

One engineering, procurement and construction contract covers the construction of a 275-kilometre long pipeline from the giant Hassi R’Mel oil and gas-gathering complex to Chaiba in the northwest of the country (MEED 31:7:08).

Another package calls for the construction of a 261km road between Ain Djasser and El-Kala, and the installation of a major gas compression station at Chaiba (MEED 23:5:08).

A third involves a 310km pipeline between Chaiba and the liquefied natural gas terminal at Skikda.

The pipeline will provide gas for export from the Skikda terminal, as well as feedstock for the Koudiat Edrouche power plant and the planned Galsi sub-sea export pipeline to Europe.

The prequalifers are Amec Spie Capag, part of France’s Entrepose Contracting which is also prequalified in its own right; Bechtel and Wilbros, both of the US; UAE-based Petrofac International; Techint and Saipem, both of Italy; Stroytransgaz of Russia; India’s Punj Lloyd; Dubai-based Dodsal with Italy’s Bonatti; Egypt’s Petrojet; the local Cosider with Germany’s Dorsch Gruppe; and the local Enac, also with Dorsch.

Eight companies have been shortlisted for the compressor.