Abu Dhabi’s state-owned International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) has still not set a deadline for commercial bids on its proposed refinery in Fujairah.

Ipic received technical engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) proposals for the project’s process units package on 10 July, but it has not alerted bidding contractors on the next round, according to a source close to the bidding process.

An announcement is expected to be made in October, meaning the deadline could be set in January 2015, the source said.

Ipic had originally planned to complete the project by 2017, but delays to the bidding for the main packages could see the commissioning date pushed back towards the end of the decade.

Firms bidding for the package are thought to include South Korean groups GS Engineering & Construction, Hyundai Engineering & Construction, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Engineering  and SK Engineering & Construction.

The submission of technical bids was significantly delayed, with Ipic extending the deadline several times after tendering the packages in September 2013.

Ipic is planning to build a 200,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) facility to meet rising demand for fuels in the UAE and enable the export of oil products from Fujairah’s port. The EPC phase is split into two packages: process units; and offsites and utilities.

France’s Technip completed the front-end engineering and design (feed) phase of the scheme in 2013.