Contractors ready for Mohammedia work

28 February 2003
Austria's MCE Voesthas issued at least 20 invitations to bid for reconstruction work at Morocco's largest refinery, which was badly damaged by fire in late November. The Austrian company was appointed damage assessment consultant by the operator of the Mohammedia refinery, Societe Anonyme Marocaine de l'Industrie de Raffinage (Samir), at the start of the year (MEED 17:1:03).

Local and international contractors have been invited to submit offers for a wide range of rehabilitation packages, ranging from scaffolding and welding to mechanical and electrical works. The dismantling of the worst-affected parts of the refinery, understood to be the power and steam generation facilities, has already started, sources at Samir confirmed on 26 February.

Reconstruction work on the refinery is expected to be completed in the third quarter of the year, but Samir sources say they hope to start up the majority of production units before that date. Prior to the fire, which broke out after floodwater swept through the plant on 26 November, the Mohammedia plant had processing capacity of 6.25 million tonnes a year (t/y) - 80 per cent of the kingdom's refining capacity. Production had reached 2.5 million t/y by mid-February and is slated to reach 3.7 million t/y by early March when a further unit is due to come on stream.

The fire has forced Samir to temporarily delay plans for a huge expansion scheme intended to raise output at Mohammedia to 8.25 million t/y. The government has asked Samir to undertake a study into safety issues surrounding the upgrade and officials from both sides are due to meet in early March to discuss the subject.

Three international contractors, Italy's Snamprogetti, Paris-based Technip-Coflexipand US-based ABB Lummus Global, submitted offers for the estimated $700 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the expansion shortly after the blaze (MEED 6:12:02).

Samir is owned by the Stockholm-based, Saudi-owned Corral Petroleum Holdings. It has the monopoly on the local refining industry - also operating the much smaller Sidi Kacem refinery, which has total capacity of 1.5 million t/y.

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