The contract is part of the estimated $400 million modernisation of the refinery, which has been under consideration for several years by the government. ‘The client is yet to set a date for the modernisation tender – they don’t know whether they will award the project as one whole package or break it up into two or three packages,’ says a project source.

Prequalification applicants for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract include Namvaran, South Korea’s Samsung Engineering Company, Engineers India (EIL), Larsen & Toubro, also of India, Industrialexport, China National Petroleum Corporation and unidentified Italian and Spanish companies (MEED 28:10:05). It includes the installation of a desulphurisation unit, a visbreaker, hydrocracker and related facilities to improve product quality. The contract will also include the installation of a vacuum distillation unit (VDU) and a crude distillation unit (CDU) to improve the production of gas-oil. France’s Beicip Franlab carried out the front-end engineering and design (FEED) package.

The client is the Petroleum & Mineral Resources Ministry, acting on behalf of BRC. The project is being funded by BRC, but there is an option for the successful contractor to arrange financing (MEED 28:10:05).