Libya’s Azzawiya Oil Refining Company, a subsidiary of the state-run National Oil Corporation, is to retender a deal for the upgrade of its lube oil blending plant after only two companies bid for the deal.

Jamal Bashir Rhourma, director of operations at Azzawiya, says the company has decided to seek fresh bids for the contract.

“There were not enough offers,” says Rhourma. “We originally evaluated five companies, but it went down to two actual bids.”

The engineering, procurement and construction contract covers the revamp of the lube plant at the company’s refinery on the coast, 45 kilometres west of Tripoli.

The upgrade will increase capacity at the plant to 100,000 tonnes a year (t/y) from about 45,000 t/y currently. It follows a review of the refinery in 2006 by Canada’s Winfield Resources.

Rhourma says he expects stronger interest when the company issues a new tender for the contract. “We have re-evaluated this tender and we expect more offers next time,” he says.

The first phase of the planned upgrade covers the modification of existing units and sulphur-extraction systems. The second involves the creation of an isomerisation and oil treatment unit.

In April 2008, Azzawiya invited tenders to build harbour facilities to handle its oil exports.

The winning company will build two breakwaters and platforms for handling oil products. The bidders expect Azzawiya to award the harbour facilities in November 2009.

Netherlands-based Royal Haskoning is the consultant on the project, while the US’ Foster Wheeler is the project management consultant.