Further information on the project is expected to be published in August, with a view to finalising the prequalification shortlist by year-end. Invitation to bid (ITB) documents for the EPC packages are expected to be issued in the first quarter of 2006, with bid deadlines set for July. The client says it hopes to make awards two months later. The refinery is expected to come on stream in 2010.

The 615,000-barrel-a-day (b/d) refinery will be by far the largest ever built in the region, and one of the largest in the world. A decision on its location has yet to be made, although it is understood that the government prefers to site the facility at Al-Zour in the south, instead of Shuaiba (MEED 6:5:05).

The complex will consist of more than 25 process units, as well as buildings, utilities and offsite facilities, including fuel systems, storage tanks, seawater cooling plants, a wastewater and effluent water plant, a flare system, unit control rooms and substations.

A number of licence technology providers for the various process units have already been selected. The US’ Chevron Corporationhas been selected as the technology licence provider for the atmospheric residue desulphurisation (ARDS) unit, while Denmark’s Haldor Topsoeis licensing its technology for the naphtha and kerosene hydrotreater units. Selection of the diesel hydrotreater and hydrogen plant units are expected to be made soon (MEED 1:7:05; 15:4:05).

The Houston office of the US’ Fluor Corporationis working on the front-end engineering and design (FEED) and is also the scheme’s project manager. The US’ Foster Wheelercarried out the feasibility study (MEED 12:11:04).

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