A total of 27 companies have submitted bids for the multi-million dollar contract to raise the sunken Sewol ferry in South Korea.
The 27 companies represent seven consortiums participating in the tender, including two that are led by Korean companies and five by foreign firms, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said in a statement.
Six foreign firms are among the bidders, including two from the United States, two from China, one from the Netherlands and one from Denmark.
South Korea is expected to begin evaluating the proposals and move forward with negotiations with the preferred bidder next month.
The Sewol ferry sank April 19, 2015 near Jindo, South Korea, claiming more than 300 lives, most of the high school students on a class trip. The wreck lies at a depth of 44 meters.
The South Korean government made its decision to salvage the vessel in April after a government committee concluded that it would be possible. The government was hoping to begin the work in September.