Bids awaited for revised Samir refinery upgrade

20 October 2003
International contractors have been invited to submit revised bids by the end of November for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract on the estimated $550 million phase-1 upgrade of the kingdom's principal refinery. Plans for the rehabilitation and expansion of the 126,000-barrel-a-day (b/d) Mohammedia plant, which is operated by the kingdom's monopoly refiner Societe Anonyme Marocaine de l'Industrie du Raffinage (Samir), were postponed at the end of last year when a fire swept through the plant causing extensive damage (MEED 17:01:03).

The three groups that first submitted bids for the revamp just days after the fire - Italy's Snamprogetti, Paris-based Technipand a consortium of US-based ABB Lummus Globalwith LG Engineeringof South Korea - have now been invited to submit revised technical and commercial proposals for the project (MEED 29:11:02).

In order to reduce the projected investment in the upgrade to $550 million from an initial estimate of $700 million, Samir has decided to tender the project in two phases, with the second phase, covering an expansion in capacity to 166,000 b/d, due to be tendered in 2010.

Samir expects to award the phase-1 contract, which involves the conversion of the Mohammedia plant to hydrocracking from hydroskimming, by the end of the year and work is scheduled to start in early 2004. Construction of the first phase, for which the UK office of the US' Foster Wheeleris project management consultant, is expected to take 36 months. Samir has already begun site preparations and acquired the necessary licences for the new units.

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