The Al-Karaana Petrochemicals Complex has invited contractors to prequalify for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for its planned $6.4bn petrochemicals project at Ras Laffan in Qatar. 

Al-Karaana is the new name for the petrochemicals joint venture of Qatar Petroleum (QP) and the UK/Dutch Shell Group at Ras Laffan. Contractors interested in bidding have until May 30 to express an interest.

In a surprising twist, the company has decided to execute the scheme on a two-package strategy. This will involve the project being split into two contracts divided in the following way:

  • Package 1: Steam cracker, and offsites and utilities
  • Package 2: Linear alpha olefins (LAO) unit, monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit, oxo-alcohols unit

“This is an unusual format for a project that is as large as this,” says a petrochemicals industry source based in the Middle East. “You would usually expect at four packages that split all of the technical units as well as a separate one for the offsites and utilities.”

MEED reported in March that the US’ Fluor had been awarded the front-end engineering and design (feed) for the three packages using Shell technology, as well as the offsites and utilities.

The MEG unit will have a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes a year (t/y) and will use Shell technology. The scope of works involves the construction of two trains each with a capacity of 750,000 t/y.

The LAO and oxo-alcohols units will have capacities of 300,000 t/y and 250,000 t/y respectively.

The remaining package is the mixed-feed steam cracker unit. This will be supplied ethane and propane feedstock. The cracker will have a capacity of 1.1 million t/y of ethylene and 170,000 t/y of propylene.

There are three companies left in the running for this package. They are:

  • CB&I Lummus (US)
  • Linde (Germany)
  • Technip (France)

The cracker will be tendered to the three technology providers on the basis that the winner will carry out the feed and then either execute the EPC alone or team up with an EPC contractor.

Tenders are expected to be released in the early third quarter and a decision is expected in early 2014.