Several local companies are among firms and ventures shortlisted for the first stage construction of a pipeline between Azerbaijan and Georgia to carry early oil exports from the Caspian Sea. The client is the consortium holding the concession, the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC).

The pipeline will run between Baku in Azerbaijan and the Georgian port of Soupsa on the Black Sea. A decision on bids to be returned by 6 January will be taken by AIOC in the February, contracting sources say.

The shortlist of local and international companies includes Turkey’s Attila Dogan, France’s Spie Capag and Enka, Techint of Argentina, Turkey’s Tekfen, Italy’s Saipem and Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC).

The project is to be completed in about 24 months and roughly estimated to cost about $250 million-300 million. It has two stages: the first, in Georgia, calls for the construction of around 50 kilometres of new pipelines and the rehabilitation of an existing pipeline of about 300 kilometres in length. Companies are also expected to be shortlisted soon for the second stage, which includes about 150 kilometres of new pipelines.