Awards near on melamine

02 June 2006

Qatar Fertiliser Company (Qafco) is expected to award by the end of June two engineering and procurement (EP) contracts on its long-planned melamine project at Mesaieed. The company is also pushing ahead with its Qafco 5 project, which will represent the largest expansion yet of local fertiliser capacity (MEED 10:3:06).

On the planned melamine project, Milan-based Eurotecnica is in line to take the EP contract for the 60,000-tonne-a-year melamine unit, while Switzerland's Urea Casale is expected to be awarded the associated EP package for plant integration work, a revamp of the existing urea 1 unit and the urea 1 environmental project. Qafco has also approached contractors to carry out the construction package.

The proposed plant will receive ammonia and urea feedstock from Qafco's existing units. Project completion is set for 2008.

On the far larger Qafco 5 fertiliser expansion, the client is aiming to build a 3,500-tonne-a-day (t/d) urea unit and two ammonia trains, each of 2,400 t/d. Qafco is in discussions with a select group of contractors to carry out the main contract, which is expected to be awarded initially on a cost plus basis before being converted to lump-sum turnkey (LSTK). Although widely applied in Saudi Arabia, the contract model has never been employed before in the Qatari market.

A contractor selection could take place as early as lateJuly, although it will probably be another four-six monthsbefore a formal award is made. Project completion is set for late 2009.

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