Erbil-based Qaiwan Group is inviting international engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firms to bid for the third phase of expansion at the Bazian refinery in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq.

Tenders will be issued in March, following the completion of front-end engineering and design (Feed) work by France’s Technip. Qaiwan hopes to award the contract by the end of September.

The project will increase the Bazian refinery’s capacity to 84,000 barrels a day (b/d) from 34,000 b/d currently with the addition of a new 50,000 b/d distillation unit and new gasoline production facilities along with supporting off-sites and utilities on a grass roots site adjacent to the existing refinery.

Planned new units include:

Refinery unit Capacity (b/d)
Crude distillation unit 50,000
Naphtha hydrotreater 33,500
Continuous catalytic reformer 22,500
Isomerization unit 10,500
Kerosene hydrotreater 13,500
Amine regeneration unit na
Sulphur recovery unit na
Waste water treatment unit na
Source: Qaiwan Group

The distillation and gasoline production units are expected to be completed by the end of 2016 and its other units by the end of 2017.

Qaiwan Group is also in the design stage of a 110-kilometre pipeline which will link the Bazian Refinery to the Taq Taq and Bina Bawi oil fields in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, which will supply 125,000 b/d of crude oil. Basic designs will be completed by the end of March by Technip.

The refinery was commissioned in 2009, 25 kilometres from the city of Sulaimaniya with two 10,000 b/d crude distillation units. The first phase of expansion was completed in September 2010 and subsequent expansion increased capacity to 34,000 b/d in August 2012.

The Kurdistan region is a net importer of refined products, despite having excess crude oil production. To counter that, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is planning to raise its refining capacity. UK-listed oil firm Genel Energy estimates that the KRG has a domestic refining capacity of 160,000 b/d and expects this to increase to as much as 250,000 b/d by the end of 2013.