Oman LNG receives bids for Train III LNG carriers

By an OGJ correspondent

NICOSIA, Mar. 27 -- Oman LNG LLC next week will announce its shortlist of preferred bidders for a contract to supply two LNG carriers for output from the country's new LNG Train III project.

Two to three preferred bidders will be selected from eight international shipyards, with further negotiations being conducted with each bidder to determine the final outcome, Omani officials said.

The competitors are Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corp. in a joint bid, South Korean firms Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd., and European firms IZAR Construcciones Navales SA of Spain, Kværner Masa of Finland, and France's Chantiers de l'Atlantique SA.

Oman last September invited 10 shipyards to submit offers for two LNG tankers, with the option of providing an additional two vessels.

Eight firms submitted bids, while two others—Hanjin Heavy Industries of South Korea and Mitsubishi Engineering & Shipbuilding—dropped out of the running.

Oman's Tender Board on Monday opened commercial bids, with the bidders quoting a base unit price ranging from $151 million to more than $190 million on a 138,000 cu m capacity vessel.

The bidders also offered a range of price options for different vessel capacities and other criteria. Technical evaluations were conducted earlier by Japan's Mitsui OSK Line, retained by Oman as consultant for the LNG carrier supply contract.

Delivery of the first vessel is slated for December 2005, to coincide with the planned commencement of LNG exports from the LNG Train III project in first quarter 2006. Delivery of the second carrier is scheduled 6 months later.

LNG Train III will have a transportation requirement of at least two LNG carriers, each having a minimum capacity of 135,000 cu m.

Development of LNG Train III, adjacent to two existing trains at Qalhat in the Wilayat of Sur, will boost the plant's capacity to more than 10 million tonnes/year of LNG. Chiyoda-Foster Wheeler secured the contract to construct the additional train on an engineering, procurement, and construction basis.

Oman has signed a memorandum of understanding with Spain's Union Fenosa for the supply of 1.65 million tonnes/year of the new train's total capacity of 3.7 million tonnes/year.

Stakeholders in Oman LNG include Oman 51%, Royal Dutch/Shell Group 30%, TotalFinaElf SA 5.54%, Korea LNG 5%, Mitsubishi 2.77%, Mitsui 2.77%, Partex Oil & Gas (Holdings) Corp. 2%, and Itochu Corp. 0.92%.

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