* Bahrain about to tender LNG terminal
* Costs at least $600 mln
* Bahrain needs to import gas to meet rising demand
MANAMA, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Non-OPEC producer Bahrain has almost finalised a tender inviting companies to build a $600 million liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, an executive from the Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) said on Monday.
“The RFP (request for proposals) will be out today or tomorrow,” Essa al-Ansari, general manager at Bapco for major engineering projects told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.
He said it would take the 14 international oil firms that are qualified to bid around 16 weeks to submit their final offers.
The terminal would cost at least $600 million, Ansari said, with a capacity of 400 million cubic feet per day (cfd), which may be expanded to 800 million cfd.
Bahrain, like its Gulf Arab neighbours, has seen a rapid increase in natural gas consumption as its economy has grown with a petrodollar-fuelled boom in the region.
It consumed 1.3 billion cubic feet of gas per day in 2007 and expects consumption to rise to 2 billion cubic feet per day in about 10 years, a gap the country needs to partially close through imports.
Bapco acts as a consultant for the project and monitors engineering work, said Ansari.
“We have to move fast, by 2014,” he said.
“If all decisions are taken promptly according to the plan then this is achievable,” he said when asked about the proposed timeframe.
A project to build an estimated $200 million oil storage facilities at Bahrain’s Sitra island was cancelled as it was not viable economically, Ansari added.
The project, which was called Independent Terminal Bahrain (ITB) was to be a joint-venture between Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA), Kuwait’s Independent Petroleum Group (IPG) and Arab Petroluem Investments Corporation (APICORP).
Reporting by Reem Shamseddine; editing by Keiron Henderson