NPC prepares to tender Ilam, Kharg projects

31 January 2003
National Petrochemical Company (NPC)is gearing up to tender a new round of petrochemical projects before the end of the Iranian year on 20 March. Tender documents are due to be released for the construction of a petrochemicals complex near the western city of Ilam, close to the Iraqi border, and for an integrated ammonia/methanol complex on Kharg island (MEED 25:10:02; 6:9:02).

Bid documents will be available before the end of February for the Ilam olefins project, covering an ethane cracker with capacity of at least 300,000 tonnes a year (t/y), a 300,000-t/y high-density polyethylene (HDPE) unit and a 80,000-t/y polypropylene (PP) unit. NPC had originally planned to set up a 200,000-t/y cracker, but revised its plans as a result of requests by potential bidders to raise capacity by at least 100,000 t/y.

Feedstock for Ilam is to be provided in the form of associated gas and propane plus (C3+) from the nearby Ilam gas plant, which processes products from onshore oil fields in western Iran, including the Naft Shahr field. The complex is due for completion in 2006.

The Ilam tender will be followed by a revised invitation to bid (ITB) for an integrated methanol/ammonia plant with capacities of 2,000 tonnes a day (t/d) and 1,500 t/d respectively. The Kharg island-based plant was originally planned to comprise a methanol unit only.

A contract award is expected soon on another project located on Kharg island, a 500,000-t/y ethane cracker. Companies have yet to submit final technical updates for the cracker, which was planned to have capacity of 300,000 t/y when bids were first submitted last March. It is understood that Germany's Lindeand Paris-based Technip-Coflexipare competing for the contract (MEED 3:5:02).

The Kharg facilities will receive feedstock from the island's planned gas-gathering network, which will have total capacity of about 600 million cubic feet a day (MEED 6:12:02).

NPC has amended the specifications for its planned 175,000-t/y polyvinyl chloride (PVC) facility in Bandar Imam. Three bidders participated in last year's tender and have now been asked to add an emulsion polyvinyl chloride (E-PVC) plant of 40,000 t/y to the scope of the project. Bids are due to be returned at the end of February.

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