A consortium of South Korea’s Daewoo and Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas is the frontrunner to win the first package of Oman’s multibillion-dollar Duqm refinery, according to sources close to the project.

MEED reported that the team was among two invited to hold further negotiations to develop the 230,000 barrel-a-day refinery, which has been billed Oman’s largest single-phase scheme.

An award was expected towards the end of May, but MEED understands this is likely to be delayed.

The groups that bid for the oil processing facilities package are:

  • CB&I (Netherlands-based) / CTCI (Taiwan)
  • JGC (Japan) / GS Engineering & Construction (South Korea) / Saipem (Italy)
  • Petrofac (UK) / Samsung Engineering (South Korea) / Chiyoda (Japan)
  • Tecnicas Reunidas (Spain) / Daewoo Engineering & Construction (South Korea)

The $7bn refinery project signed Kuwait Petroleum International, a subsidiary of state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, as joint venture partner with Oman Oil Company in April.

The Kuwaiti partner replaced Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic), which quit the project last year citing a change in strategy.

Final investment on the project is still awaited. MEED reported that the project owner may tap into export credit financing and may take on more partners.

The refinery is set to produce diesel, jet fuel, naphtha and liquefied petroleum gas.

The development of Duqm refinery forms part of Oman’s efforts to diversify its economy through integrated energy and logistics projects in towns such as Sohar and Salalah.