Punj Lloyd, a leading engineering procurement and construction (EPC) and project management services company, is now in the race to build Singapore’s maiden LNG import terminal.

The company has tied up with Saipem, the leading global EPC contractor and part of Italy’s ENI, to bid for the landmark project along with Singapore-based Sembcorp.

The cost of the LNG terminal is expected to amount to around S$1bn ($725m), with the project initially expected to be commissioned by 2011.

The news follows the announcement that Punj Lloyd had acquired a 74% stake in cryogenic tank firm Technodyne and further strengthened its involvement in the LNG and oil & gas sector as a result.

Punj Lloyd Managing Director Vimal Kaushik is believed to have confirmed the latest development, though declining to divulge the details of the expected size of the order.

The company is thought to have pre-qualified for the three million tpa (mtpa) terminal being developed by Singapore Power subsidiary PowerGas, however participation in the project could be difficult as other three consortia are also likely to be in the race for the deal.

These are believed to include KBR and Samsung Corporation with Kogas Technology, Korean outfits SK Gas and LG with Whessoe Oil & Gas, and Technip with Daewoo.

If Punj Lloyd is successful with its bid, the project will be implemented through its Singapore-based arm Punj Lloyd Pte Ltd, the holding company for Punj Lloyd subsidiaries in Asia Pacific region.