The bidders are the UK’s BP, the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Australia’s WorleyParsons, Paris-based Technip, Japan’s Mitsui & Company and Foster Wheeler, Fluor Corporation, Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) and Stone & Webster, all US. Estimated to cost $2,000 million, the proposed facility will comprise two trains and will be able to process 300,000 b/d of Basra light crude or Mishrif crude. The project includes process units, tank farms, major offsites and utilities, pipelines and the installation of instrumentation, control and communications systems. The refinery will produce gasoline, kerosene, gas oil, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and fuel oil. The successful bidder will carry out all engineering work outside Iraq and conduct a study into how the project can be financed. The ministry is hoping to involve the private sector on a build-own-operate (BOT) basis.

Although Baghdad has nameplate refining capacity of more than 700,000 b/d, the combined effect of sanctions, under-investment and age means that the sector is only operating at 50 per cent capacity.