Contractors have submitted bids for the contract to build a jet fuel pipeline in Dubai for Emirates National Oil Company’s (Enoc).

Dubai government wants to fast-track the project due to rising costs. As a result, state-owned Enoc has been instructed to cut delivery time for the pipeline, which will connect the company’s storage tanks in Jebel Ali to the new Al-Maktoum airport that is scheduled to start operations in 2012.

With time pressing, Enoc was forced to limit itself to a small group of bidders, with only five contractors in contention.

“Normally there would be eight to ten companies bidding for such a contract,” says a source close to the project.

The local Arj Engineering, Sicon Oil & Gas, a subsidiary of Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), and two Indian companies Dodsal and Punj Lloyd submitted commercial bids.

Bids will be about $150m, sources estimate. The contract is expected to be awarded in mid-July.

The scope of the project includes both a pipeline and six to seven storage tanks. The 62-kilometre pipeline will connect storage facility close to the Enoc refinery in Jebel Ali.

The execution time is expected to be about 15-16 months, with projects of this scope normally taking over 20 months to complete. Enoc is pressured by the government to fast-track the project to be able to deliver jet fuel to the new airport as soon as possible, sources say.

Once fully operational, Al-Maktoum Airport will be the largest airport in the world. At an estimated cost of $34bn, the airport will have a capacity of 160 million people a year. Dubai Airport chief executive officer Paul Griffith told media in March that the opening of the airport will be delayed until 2012, after an initial delay until the final quarter of 2011.