Companies have been asked to submit commercial bids for the process units package of the proposed new refinery in Fujairah by the end of March, according to sources close to the project.

Abu Dhabi’s state-owned International Petroleum Development Company (Ipic) received technical engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bids for the package in July 2014, but the timeline for commercial proposals has been unclear.

The contract could be awarded during the second quarter, sources say.

Firms bidding for the package are thought to include South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction, Hyundai Engineering & Construction, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Engineering  and SK Engineering & Construction.

The submission of technical bids was significantly delayed, with Ipic extending the deadline several times after tendering the packages in September 2013.

The company is planning to build a 200,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) facility to meet rising demand for fuels in the UAE and enable the export of oil products from Fujairah’s port. The EPC phase is split into two packages: process units; and offsites and utilities.

Earlier this month, MEED revealed that financing plans for the Fujairah refinery project were being delayed due to concerns about declining oil prices.

“Given the volatility in the oil markets today, this project is [getting] a little more scrutiny from sponsors and shareholders,” a source told MEED.

France’s Technip completed the front-end engineering and design (feed) phase of the scheme in 2013.

Follow Mark Watts on Twitter: @MEEDMark