ITB due for Sohar refinery

02 November 2001

Oman Refinery Company (ORC)is preparing to invite international companies to bid for the contract to build the 75,000-barrel-a-day (b/d) Sohar refinery. Contractors say a shortlist of up to six groups will be asked to submit technical and commercial offers for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract on the $870 million project. The invitation to bid (ITB) is expected to be issued by the end of November.

Prequalifiers are expected to include: JGC Corporationand Chiyoda Corporation, both of Japan; Italy's Snamprogetti, with South Korea's Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company; and France's Technip, with South Korea's Samsung Corporation. Eleven groups submitted prequalification applications for the contract in September 2000 (MEED 15:9:00).

The refinery will produce propylene, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), unleaded gasoline, low-sulphur gas oil, fuel oil and sulphur. The US' UOPwill licence the plant's main residue fluid catalytic cracker unit (MEED 12:5:00). The UK's BPwas selected in September as the preferred bidder for the offtake of petroleum products from the refinery and is in negotiations with the government about the contract.

ORC is also planning to add a 340,000-tonne-a-year polypropylene (PP) unit next to the refinery, which is expected to be drawn up as a separate tender. Two prospective partners are competing for the initiative: Copenhagen-based Borealisand a team led by US-based ABB Lummus Global. The PP plant will utilise feedstock from the main refinery and cost some $150 million to build.

Financing for both projects is expected to come from a variety of sources, including international banks and export credit agencies (MEED 26:1:01).

International companies were also due to submit bids on 5 November for the contract to build a new diesel hydro-desulphurisation unit at the Mina al-Fahal refinery. Eight companies were shortlisted in June for the estimated $25 million-30 million package (MEED 26:10:01).

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