Kharg complex begins to take shape

05 December 2003
Plans for a new grassroots petrochemical complex on Kharg island are taking shape. Evaluation of bids is under way at National Petrochemical Company (NPC)for the methanol unit, the release of tender documents is imminent for the neighbouring monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant and the contract for the ethane cracker has now come into force (MEED 14:11:03; 28:3:03).

Technical and commercial bids were submitted on 30 November for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build the methanol unit, which will have capacity to produce at least 2,000 tonnes a day (t/d) of methanol. Industry sources say NPC is considering utilising carbon dioxide feedstock to be generated from the planned MEG plant to raise methanol capacity to up to 2,300 t/d.

The bidders for the methanol unit are understood to include Germany's Lurgiand Italy's Snamprogetti. Both companies have been involved in local methanol projects in the past. Bid documents are also due to be released by mid-December for the third main contract on the Kharg complex, covering a 500,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) MEG plant.

Paris-based Technipannou-nced in early December that its contract to build the 500,000-t/y Kharg ethane cracker had come into force, after a multi-source export credit facility backed by European agencies was put in place. Technip with its local partner Nargan Consulting Engineerswas awarded the Eur 173 million ($207 million) engineering and procurement contract last March.

Away from Kharg, NPC is due to receive bids from local and international contractors by 18 December for the EPC package on the 318,000-t/y olefins unit at Ilam. However, sources close to the project say that clarification of feedstock specifications - the reason for an earlier bid extension - has yet to be completed and could lead to further delays in bidding. NPC is already evaluating bids for the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) package on the Ilam complex, after prices were submitted in September.

NPC has also released tender documents for the ethane cracker package on the olefins 8 complex at Bandar Imam. Three companies - Technip, Germany's Lindeand Europe's ABB Lummus Global- are expected to bid for the contract, which covers front-end engineering and design (FEED) work and EPC construction for the 1 million-t/y cracker. The bid deadline is late January.

A deadline of mid-January has been set by NPC for companies planning to bid for the FEED package on the olefins 11 complex at Bandar Assaluyeh. The successful bidder will carry out the FEED for the full complex, comprising HDPE, low-density polyethylene (LDPE), styrene monomer, ethylene and MEG capacity.

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