A Japanese group of JGC Corporationand Chiyoda Corporationis the low bidder for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract on the Sohar refinery project, following the opening of commercial bids in mid September. The JGC/Chiyoda team priced the contract at $875 million, some 35 per cent cheaper than the next lowest offer of $1,190 million, quoted by South Korea's LG Engineering & Constructionwith the UK's Foster Wheeler Energy. Four groups submitted EPC bids on 1 July to the client, the Sohar Refinery Company (SRC- MEED 5:7:02).
The two other bidders for the contract are France's Technip-Coflexipwith South Korea's Samsung Engineering Company, and Germany's Lurgiwith South Korea's SK Engineering & Construction (SKEC). The Technip/Samsung group priced the work at $1,200 million and the Lurgi/SKEC team at $1,500 million. The project's front-end engineering and design (FEED) package was prepared by JGC; the project manager is US-based ABB Lummus Global.
The three-year contract is expected to be awarded by the end of the year. It will involve the construction of a grassroots refinery with capacity of about 125,000 barrels a day (b/d). The main units will be: a 75,000-b/d residue fluid catalytic cracker, licensed by the US' UOP; an alkylation unit; liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), light gasoline and heavy gasoline sweetening units; a sour water stripping unit, and sulphur recovery and propylene recovery unit.
The estimated $1,000 million refinery project will be financed by a debt/equity package. The preliminary information memorandum for the debt is due to be sent out to banks by the end of 2002. Financial close is targeted for the first half of 2003. SRC's financial adviser is Bank of America.
The refinery will produce unleaded gasoline, low sulphur gas oil, and heavy fuel oil and propylene. The propylene will be used as feedstock for a 340,000-tonne-a-year polypropylene (PP) plant to be built adjacent to the main complex by a joint venture of ABB Lummus and LG (MEED 22:2:02).
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