DUBAI (Zawya Dow Jones)

Abu Dhabi-based Dolphin Energy Ltd., said Monday it expects five companies to bid by May 7 for the contract to build the Taweelah-Fujairah natural gas pipeline that will feed a new power and desalination plant.

Dolphin, which imports Qatari natural gas to the U.A.E. via pipeline, has called on the companies to submit commercial proposals for the design and build contract Wednesday, the company said in an emailed statement.

The U.A.E.'s Al Jaber Energy Services, Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Co., or CCC, Dubai-based Dodsal, Russia's Stroytransgaz and Saipem S.p.A.'s (SPM.MI) Snamprogetti unit earlier this year passed the technical qualification for the pipeline job, Dolphin added.

The new 240-kilometer, 48-inch diameter pipeline will run from Dolphin's gas receiving terminal at Taweelah in Abu Dhabi to the Qidfa power and desalination plant in Fujairah on the east coast of the United Arab Emirates, Dolphin said.

Dolphin in December awarded Germany's Salzgitter Mannesmann International a contract worth more than $200 million to supply about 120,000 tons of coated line pipes for the project, with a first shipment already having arrived in Abu Dhabi, the company said.

Dolphin, owned 51% by Abu Dhabi through Mubadala Development Co., already supplies an existing power plant at Qidfa with 135 million cubic feet a day of gas through the Al Ain-Fujairah pipeline, according to the statement.

The additional capacities are needed to provide feedstock for the $2.8 billion Fujairah F2 power and water desalination plant, which is presently being developed by a consortium of International Power PLC (IPR.LN) and Japan's Marubeni Corp. (8002.TO) for Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, or Adwea.

The F2 plant will have capacity to produce 2,000 megawatts of electricity and 130 million gallons a day of water by the end of 2010.

Dolphin has the contract to pump 2 billion cubic feet a day of gas, equivalent to about 330,000 barrels a day of oil, through its 364-kilometer pipeline from Qatar.

Dolphin is extracting the gas from Qatar's North Field under a development and production sharing agreement signed with Qatar Petroleum in 2003.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) and Total SA (TOT) each own 24.5% in Dolphin.

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