A total of 36 prospective bidders have purchased tender documents for the construction of the initial, $200 million Turkish portion of a pipeline to import natural gas from Iran, project sources say (MEED 27:12:96). The closing date for the submission of bids is 28 February. The client is state pipeline and gas agency Botas.

The likely bidders include local companies Enka, Guris, Akfen, Tekfen, Pasiner Endustri, Yuksel, Nurol, ATA and Attila Dogan, Italy’s Saipem and France’s Spie Capag, say the sources.

The initial, 300-kilometre portion of the pipeline will run from Dogubeyazit on the southeast border with Iran to the eastern city of Erzurum. Iran will finance and build its 270-kilometre section from Tabriz to the Turkish border.

The first Iranian gas imports are due to start at a rate of 3,000 million cubic metres a year (mcm/y) in 1998, rising to 10,000 mcm in 2005. The 23-year agreement, worth $18,000 million, is for the import of a total 190,000 mcm.

Another agreement for the import of natural gas from Turkmenistan was reached in Tehran on 28 December between Energy & Natural Resources Minister Recai Kutan and his Iranian and Turkmen counterparts (MEED 10:1:97). This agreement provided for the eventual purchase of 6,000-8,000 mcm/y of gas from Turkmenistan.