More than ten engineering firms have applied to bid on a $50m deal to build a propane recovery unit at Mina al-Fahal refinery in Oman.

The firms submitted their prequalification applications for the engineering, procurement and construction deal to Oman Refineries & Petrochemicals Company (ORPC)on 7 December.

Executives at firms competing on the deal say they expect to know whether they have been approved to bid by the end of the first quarter of 2010.

ORPC has told the firms it will release the tender documents for the deal in the third quarter of 2010 and a contract will be awarded in the first half of 2011.

The winning bidder will build facilities to recover up to 160 tonnes a day of propane from the oil and gas processed at the 106,000-barrel-a-day refinery. The contract also covers the construction of new liquefied petroleum gas storage tanks.

The firms competing for the deal include India’s Punj Lloyd, Larsen & Toubro and Indian Oiltanking & Construction Services, Egypt’s Enppi, Iran’s Sunir, the Netherlands’ Tebodin and China’s CTCI. A number of local firms have also submitted applications to bid. Firms include Bahwan Engineering Company, Towell al-Zawraa Engineering Services, and Gulf Petrochemical Services & Trading Company.