Sources at international engineering firms working in Abu Dhabi tell MEED they submitted prequalification applications in the first week of October for a contract to build the 300,000-barrel-a-day base oils refinery.

The sources expect Takreer to prequalify firms to bid for the engineering, procurement and construction deal before the end of the year. Takreer will then set out a deadline for technical proposals and commercial bids.

Base oils are heavy grades of oil that are commonly used as industrial lubricants. Takreer currently blends the base oils into fuel oil, which it sells on the open market.

Abu Dhabiis a net importer of base oils, and Takreer wants to use the plant to meet domestic demand and turn the emirate into a net exporter.

France’s Technip is due to complete a front-end engineering and design study for the plant in December.