Iraq’s South Refining Company (SRC) is expected to launch an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) tender for a new fluid catalyst cracker (FCC) unit in March, for the Basra Refinery in the south of the country.

Rome-based APS Engineering, a subsidiary of Japanese engineering firm JGC, is carrying out the front-end engineering and design (feed) for the scheme, which will be completed in March, says a source close to the project.

France’s Axens was selected to provide a technology licence for the FCC unit.

The 150,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) Basra Refinery is currently being upgraded and expanded Prokop Engineering and Technoexport, both of the Czech Republic, which won EPC deals 2008.

Tenders are also expected for FCC units at the Baiji and Daura refineries, but these are in early stages of design and will not be completed until 2016 (MEED 7:10:11).

Iraq’s Oil Ministry plans to build several new refineries across the country with a total processing capacity of 740,000 b/d to meet local fuel demand. The US’ UOP was selected on 25 May 2011 to provide technology for several units, including a cracker at the planned 300,000 b/d Nassiriya refinery, also in the south of Iraq. Design work will begin in the second quarter of 2011.