The committee’s decision is unusual because the low bidder in Kuwait is nearly always awarded the contract.

Italy’s Snamprogetti, UAE-based Petrofac and SK Engineering & Construction from South Korea will be asked to examine their bids with the committee, which is the ultimate decision-making body for large public-sector contracts in the state.

Snamprogetti was low bidder for the contract when bids were submitted in early November, with an offer of KD179m ($649m).

The Milan-based contractor’s bid was 11 per cent lower than the second-best price of KD201m ($726m) submitted by Petrofac International.

SK’s offer was KD204m (MEED 9:11:07).

The lump-sum engineering, procurement and construction contract covers the construction of a new booster station in southeast Kuwait, consisting of two identical single-stage compression trains, delivering 249 million cubic feet a day of sour gas.

The client is Kuwait Oil Company.