Four frontrunners have emerged for Qatar’s Laffan Refinery Company’s $1bn phase two expansion at its complex in Ras Laffan.

Final negotiations are now taking place between the contractors and the client and an award will be made for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract on completion.

The four bidders left in contention are:

  • Chiyoda Corporation (Japan)/CTCI (Taiwan)
  • Daelim Industrial (South Korea)
  • Tecnicas Reunidas (Spain)

“It is down to four contractors now and all are now engaged in talks with the client,” says an oil and gas source familiar with the project. “There is no clear frontrunner out of the four as yet.”

MEED reported that bids were received on January 5 for the Laffan Refinery expansion, which will process an additional 146,000 barrels a day (b/d) of condensate recovered from one of the world’s largest non-associated gas fields, the North Field.

Technip is currently carrying out the front-end engineering and design (feed) for the project.

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 two project will double the capacity of the current refinery. The product mix is expected to remain 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 April 2012 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.

QP is the leading shareholder of the Laffan refinery with a holding of 51 per cent. The remaining shares are shared between several 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 ownership.