Oman has completed prequalifying companies for the four packages of the $3.6bn Liwa Plastics petrochemicals project in Sohar and plans to tender the project in the coming weeks.

Project owner Oman Oil Refineries & Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) is planning to build a cracker and downstream polymer plants in what will be the largest petrochemicals development in the sultanate’s history.

A final list of 19 engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bidders has been concluded after a two-round prequalification process.

Individual companies were prequalified for the packages in the first round and, in the second round, contractors joined to form competing consortiums.

Muscat-based newspaper Oman Daily Observer released the following list of prequalified firms:

Package Prequalified consortiums
Steam cracker with off-site works and utilities CB&I (US) / Saipem (Italy) / CTCI (Taiwan)
Daelim Industrial (South Korea) / Petrofac (UK) / Hanwha E&C (South Korea)
Toyo Engineering (Japan) / GS E&C (South Korea)
Polyethylene and polypropylene units with off-site works and utilities Daelim Industrial
GS E&C / Mitsui (Japan)
Linde Engineering (Germany) / ThyssenKrupp (Germany)
Saipem  / Sinopec Engineering (China) / Tecnimont (Italy)
Natural gas liquids (NGL) extraction unit with off-site works and utilities Bechtel (US)
GS E&C / Mitsui
Petrofac
Saipem
SK E&C (South Korea) / Larsen & Toubro (India)
NGL pipeline Bechtel
Dodsal (UAE)
Larsen & Toubro
Punj Lloyd (India)
Saipem

Contract awards are likely to be made in the fourth quarter of 2015 with Orpic aiming to complete the project by the end of 2018.

The front-end engineering and design (feed) study is being carried out by US-based engineering group CB&I, which is also the technology provider for the steam cracker, while Engineers India has been appointed as project management consultant (PMC).

The cracker will use a combination of feedstocks including natural gas liquids (NGL) extracted from natural gas, liquid petroleum gas (LPG) from the Sohar refinery and aromatics plant, dry gas from the Sohar refinery and condensates from Oman LNG.

The complex will have the capacity to produce 880,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE); 300,000 t/y of polypropylene (PP); 90,000 t/y of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE); 41,000 t/y of butane; and 111,000 t/y of pyrolysis gasoline.