DUBAI (Zawya Dow Jones)
Kuwait National Petroleum Corp. has given companies vying for the contract to build a new $14.6-billion refinery an additional 10 days to prepare their bids, a company official said Sunday.
International companies that were prequalified earlier this year to bid for four separate packages covering the construction of the 615,000-barrel-a-day Al Zour refinery now have to submit their proposals on Dec. 26, a KNPC official, who declined to be named, told Zawya Dow Jones.
"Companies requested more time. We expect at least three bids for each of the four packages," the official said, adding that the project's budget stood at 4 billion Kuwaiti dinars ($14.6 billion).
Foster Wheeler Ltd. and Snamprogetti are among the more than 17 companies prequalified to bid for the project's four packages, comprising processing units, marine work and tank farms, according to the ABQ Zawya projects monitor.
Kuwait earlier this year decided to raise the budget for the Al Zour project after bids came in at more than double the original $6.3 billion budget in December 2006.
Project cost in the Middle East have soared in the past three years as governments are spending record oil revenues on building and expanding industries and infrastructure, leading to shortages in contractors, raw materials, equipment and qualified labor, and in turn driving up prices.
The Al Zour refinery, Kuwait's fourth, will mainly produce low-sulfur fuel oil for the country's power plants by 2012.
Kuwait, the fourth largest oil producer in the Middle East, presently has three refineries with combined capacity to process about 930,000 b/d of crude oil.
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