International engineering firms say they are hopeful of a speedy award of the two main construction deals for the $8bn Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (Takreer) Ruwais refinery expansion scheme after they submitted final bids on 21 October.

Eight international firms handed in commercial bids outlining proposed cost structures for the deals, to build the key crude distillation unit (CDU) and residual fluid catalytic cracker (RFCC) at the Ruwais refining complex.

“Takreer want to get a quick award on this,” says the business development manager of one firm bidding on the RFCC deal. “They have to go through the Supreme Petroleum Council but even then I think it may only take four to five days for a decision.”

The Supreme Petroleum Council is Abu Dhabi’s highest decision making body for the oil and gas sector, and reviews all major contracts before they are awarded.

The CDU breaks down crude oil into its components, such as the petroleum product naphtha and the basic chemical benzene. South Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction, Japan’s Toyo, Italy’s Tecnimont and Spain’s TR all bid on the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build the unit.

South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction, Japan’s JGC, Italy’s Saipem and France’s Technip all submitted prices for the RFCC, which breaks up the heavier oil components into lighter and more valuable products.

The UK’s Petrofac submitted a technical bid explaining engineering proposals for the RFCC along with the other firms on 19 August, but decided not to submit a price as it thought it would not be able to compete, company CEO Ayman Asfari said in an interview on 20 October.

Five firms submitted bids for a deal to build new tankage facilities at Ruwais on 15 October, and bids are due in for the contract to build the main infrastructure and utilities for the expansion on 26 October.

Takreer can currently refine a maximum of 417,000 barrels a day (b/d) of oil at the Ruwais complex and wants to almost double this to 817,000 b/d through the expansion.