Kuwait has awarded Turkish engineering and construction group STFA a contract to build and expand small boat harbours in the Gulf state.

STFA submitted the lowest bid of KD137m ($487m) to state upstream operator Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) on 18 November 2012, which has now been approved by the Central Tenders Committee (CTC).

Out of 10 firms prequalified to bid, seven submitted engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bids. The second-lowest price came from South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction, which was just 2.7 per cent higher at KD141m ($500m).

The project is designed to refurbish and expand the existing small boat harbour at KOC’s South Pier site and construct a new small boat harbour at North Pier, together with associated infrastructure and facilities at both sites.

The harbour project supports Kuwait’s expansion in oil production and export capacity. Both piers are located just over a kilometre offshore from Mina al-Ahmadi.

The South Pier is mainly utilised for loading products from Kuwait’s refineries. It is equipped with six loading berths and can handle ships up to 80,000 deadweight tonnes (dwt).

The North Pier has four loading berths dedicated to crude oil export and products. It is capable of handling small to medium-sized vessels up to 160,000 dwt. The new harbour project will involve the construction of 18 berths for large craft, a landing area 60-metre-long boats and bunker loading points.