Five international companies have been invited to carry out due diligence on the assets of Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company (JPRC)in advance of the planned $700 million modernisation and part-privatisation of the country’s sole refinery.

Prequalifiers for the study include the London office of the US’ Charles River Associates with London-based Penspen,Houston-based Purvin & Gertz, the UK’s Channoil Consulting, GCA Gaffney, Cline & Associatesof the US and Ottowa-based William G Matthews Associates.

Six international law firms have been prequalified for a study into the legal and regulatory framework for the project. Prequalifiers include Canada’s Fraser Milner Gasgrain LLP, the US’ Hunton & Williamsand three firms identified as Heenan Blaikie & Beiruti Law, Houstin International Businessand Mercados.

Canada’s Houston & Associatesis already conducting the pricing reform study, while Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) has played an advisory role. JPRC’s concession is due to expire in 2008. The US’ Jacobs Engineeringhas carried out technical and feasibility studies into the Zarqa oil refinery, which is likely to be expanded as part of the upcoming privatisation. The US’ Taylor-DeJongh and the local Atlas Investment Group, the investment banking arm of Arab Bank, have conducted financial studies on the refinery.

The request for proposals for both studies was issued in early October and an award is expected to be made by the Energy & Mineral Resources Ministry in early November (MEED 12:8:05).