Muscat set to consider Hanwha's bid for Sohar refinery

25 July 2008
Oman Refineries & Petrochemicals Company (ORPC) could go ahead with a contract award on its planned bitumen plant at the 116,000-barrel-a-day Sohar refinery despite receiving only one bid, according to sources close to the project.

South Korea’s Hanwha Engineering & Construction was the only one of five prequalified international contractors to bid for the project when proposals were submitted in early June (MEED.com 3:6:08).

Under local tender regulations, at least two bids must be received for a public sector contract if evaluation is to proceed.

If not, the normal procedure is for the contract to be retendered. However, ORPC is understood to be keen on moving quickly with the scheme.

The chances of it going ahead were given a boost by the Oman Tender Board’s decision to publish Hanwha’s bid price.

Generally, this would place the bidding contractor at a disadvantage when it comes to a retender, as its competitors would know its price in advance.

The release of the price suggests that ORPC intends to start evaluation of the single bid.

According to the tender board, Hanwha submitted a contract price of $240m.

As the engineering, procurement and construction contract will be carried out on a convertible lump-sum basis, the final cost will not be known until the project has been completed.
The scheme covers the construction of vacuum distillation, bitumen blowing, propane de-asphalting and utility units at the refinery and offsite facilities.

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