Switzerland-based ABB is the frontrunner to win a major new pipeline construction contract in Kuwait after submitting the lowest bid for the deal.

ABB’s bid of KD48.4m ($167.6m) was submitted on 31 January, and was $14m lower than the company’s nearest competitor. Up to 25 other firms participated in the bid round.

The bid will now be vetted by Kuwait’s Central Tenders Committee, and an award is expected before the end of June.

If it wins the engineering, procurement and construction contract ABB will build a 120 kilometre pipeline of 30 inches in diameter linking state oil and gas producer Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) production facilities in the north of the country with a central collection and distribution point in the east of the country.

The deal is one of a series of projects KOC is tendering as it moves to increase its oil and gas processing and distribution network.

Kuwait can produce around 3 million barrels a day (b/d) of oil.although its current output is closer to 2.2 million b/d because of Opec quotas. KOC plans to increase production capacity to 4 million b/d by 2020, and will need a distribution network capable of handling the extra 1 million b/d.