The client, Oman Refineries & Petrochemicals Company (ORPC), took the decision to enable the five international prequalified contractors more time to prepare their bids.

The $80m-120m engineering, procurement, construction and installation contract covers the construction of vacuum distillation, bitumen blowing, propane de-asphalting and utility units at the refinery, as well as offsite facilities (MEED 26:2:08).

The prequalifiers are CBI Lummus of the US, Athens-based Consolidated Contractors international Company (CCC), Hanwha Engineering & Construction and Hyundai Engineering, both of South Korea, and Germany’s Uhde.

Unusually for Oman, the contract will be awarded on an open-book, convertible lump-sum contract basis. The consultant is Engineers India (MEED 12:10:07).

Bitumen is produced from the residual fraction of the crude refining process and is primarily used to pave roads.

ORPC was formed last year following a royal decree merging Sohar Refinery Company with Oman Oil Refinery Company. It is 75 per cent owned by the Finance Ministry and 25 per cent by Oman Oil Company (MEED 18:8:07).