Four international contractors are believed to have been invited to submit bids by the end of February for the estimated $250m-300m engineering, procurement and construction contract.

The invited firms are South Korea’s Samsung Engineering Company, Spain’s TR, Paris-based Technip and Japan’s JGC Corporation.

The project calls for the routing of about 12,000 barrels a day of unconverted oil from the existing hydrocracker at the Bapco refinery to the new unit which will convert the feedstock to 400,000 tonnes a year of sulphur-free lube base oil, predominantly for export (MEED 13:1:06).

The US’ Jacobs Engineering is the front-end engineering and design contractor.