A team of Italy’s Tecnimontand the local Narganbid Eur 630 million ($774 million) for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) package for both plants. However, the group was the only bidder to submit a quote with a technology licensor on board, following the withdrawal of the UK’s Innovenefrom Iran. A team of South Korea’s Samsung Engineering Companywith the local Sazeh Consultdeclined to submit its bid following the withdrawal of Innovene, while the other competitor, the UK’s SimonCarvesin partnership with the local Chagalesh, decided to present its price despite the lack of a licensor. Its price is understood to have exceeded Eur 750 million ($921 million) for the two plants.

Bakhtar decided to retender, citing National Petrochemical Company (NPC) regulations that demand at least three valid bids.

The Mahabad and Khorramabad plants are almost identical, with capacity of 300,000 tonnes a year of HDPE and LDPE. Bakhtar is building the plants as part of a wider scheme to develop up to nine petrochemical plants in Iran’s impoverished western provinces. Besides these two, and three other projects already under tender, four new plants have now been approved.