Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) is looking for a financial adviser to work on the funding for the $6bn expansion of its Sitra refinery.

The mandate is understood to include working on the refinancing of Bapco’s existing debt and options for raising money for the refinery expansion. Sources close to the company say that the mandate does not necessarily include taking a financing deal to the market, but is more focused around developing a financing plan for the company over the next five years, including deciding how best to fund the expansion.

Around a year ago Bapco appointed France’s BNP Paribas as financial adviser on review of the Sitra expansion plan. In July, Energy Minister Abdul Hussain bin Ali Mirza said this review had been completed and the investment for the project was between $6-10bn. However, sources close to the project say the budget could still be below this range.

The company sent a request for proposals to banks in late September asking them to pitch for the role. Responses are due by mid-October.

Bapco is also planning to start looking for a front-end engineering and design contractor for the project in early 2013.