A consortium led by Italian engineering firm, Techint has submitting the lowest bid for a deal to build a new sulphur handling and export terminal at Ruwais in Abu Dhabi.

Bidding in consortium with the local Al-Jaber Group, the company submitted a proposal of $624m, about 30 per cent lower than the second-placed Saipem, also of Italy, who bid a price of $812m, according to sources close to the project.

Bids were submitted to the client, Abu Dhabi Gas Industries (Gasco), a subsidiary of state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) on 4 October and opened the same day.

Five firms submitted bids:

  • Techint with Al-Jaber Group ($624m)
  • Siapem ($812m)
  • India’s Dodsal ($828) 
  • South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction ($847m)
  • India’s Punj Lloyd ($852m)

Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company was also prequalified on the project but declined to bid.

The contract covers the construction of a new sulphur handling and export terminal at Ruwais, 240 kilometres from Abu Dhabi, including loading and storage facilities that will bring the port’s total sulphur capacity up to 20,000 tonnes a day (t/d).

Some sources have expressed their surprise at Techint being the frontrunner for the deal. “Techint has not won anything in the UAE, or even the region for some time.” says one source close to the project. “The fact that they are bidding with Al-Jaber will have helped them. The bulk of the pricing and scope will have come from them”.

Gasco is also assessing bids for the deal’s project management consultancy (PMC) contract, which is expected to be awarded by the end of the year. Bidders include Australia’s Worley Parsons, and the Netherland’s Tebodin Consultants & Engineers.

Gasco is also planning a sulphur project at Habshan, in the southwest of the emirate. The firm is holding a series of technical clarification meetings with bidders for its new Habshan sulphur handling and processing project starting from 5 October and ending on 18 October. At least nine firms submitted bids on 21 September, including Dodsal, Punj Lloyd, Saipem and South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction. Dates for commercial submissions have not yet been announced.

The deals are part of Abu Dhabi’s plans to build an estimated $2bn of new sulphur handling and distribution facilities. Along with new sulphur handling and processing project at Habshan in the southwest of the emirates, production is expected to rise fourfold to 7 million tonnes a year (t/y) by 2015, from 1.7 million t/y in 2008. Commercial deadlines for the Habshan deal are yet to be announced (MEED 6:10:10).