Qatar’s Laffan Refinery Company is prequalifying contractors looking to bid for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the $1bn phase two expansion at its complex in Ras Laffan.

About 30 contractors have applied for prequalification documents for the expansion, which on completion will process an additional 146,000 barrels-a-day (b/d) of condensate recovered from the one of the world’s largest non-associated gas fields, the North Field.  

“Contractors are submitting prequalification documents for the project now,” says a contracting source familiar with the project. “I am not sure how many companies will end up being allowed to bid for the EPC contract, but this is a large contract for the Qatar oil and gas sector in 2012, so there will be a lot of interested parties.”

When the prequalification is completed the tenders will then be sent out to successful contractors. Tenders are expected to be released in June with submissions expected in August. Contract awards will then be announced in November and the completion date for the whole project is expected to be January 2016. The execution of the scheme will be on a lump-sum turnkey basis.

Technip is currently carrying out the front-end engineering and design for the scheme.

Qatar currently sells off a large proportion of its condensate raw to international customers, so it is keen to add as much value as possible by processing it into a range of downstream products.

The phase II project will double the capacity of the current refinery. The product mix is expected to stay the same. The Laffan Refinery currently produces 61,000 b/d of naphtha, 52,000 b/d of jet fuel, 24,000 b/d of gasoil and 9,000 b/d of liquid petroleum gas (LPG).

The complex will also add a benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX) unit that will process aromatics feedstock to be used in the domestic petrochemicals sector. The offtake is expected to fuel a range of new petrochemicals industries in Qatar. MEED reported in early April that Qatar Petroleum (QP) was tendering the feasibility study for the proposed Ras Laffan Aromatics plant that will be built close to the Laffan Refinery complex.  

“Using processed condensate to fuel its petrochemicals industry allows Qatar to tie up its massive reserves of natural gas in long-term LNG [liquefied natural gas] in long term sales contracts,” says the contracting source. “That is what makes this expansion make sense.”

QP is the leading shareholder of the Laffan refinery with a holding of 51 per cent. The remaining shares are spread between a number of international companies with the US’ ExxonMobil, France’s Total, Malaysia’s Idemitsu and Japan’s Cosmo with Japan’s Mitsui and Marubeni each retaining 4.5 per cent stakes.

Companies which have requested pre-qualification documents for the scheme include:

  • Chiyoda Corporation (Japan)
  • Daelim Industrial (South Korea)
  • GS Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Hyundai Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • JGC Corporation (Japan)
  • Petrofac (UK)
  • Samsung Engineering (South Korea)
  • SK Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Technip (France)
  • Tecnicas Reunidas (Spain)