Oman Oil Refineries & Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) has extended the deadline for bids on the expansion of its Sohar refinery in northern Oman, according to sources close to the bidding process.

The cut-off date for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bids has been delayed to 20 May from a previous deadline of 29 April.

Eight companies originally prequalified to bid for the contract, but Japanese group JGC Corporation is not planning to submit a proposal, according to sources.

Other companies prequalified for the deal are:

  • Daelim (South Korea)/Petrofac (UK)
  • GS E&C (South Korea)
  • Hyundai E&C (South Korea)
  • Samsung Engineering (South Korea)/Chiyoda (Japan)
  • SK E&C (South Korea)
  • Technip (France)
  • Tecnicas Reunidas (Spain)

On 19 March, Orpic chief financial officer (CFO), Nazar al-Lawati, said the number of prequalified companies had been reduced to five, but an Oman tender board update on 20 March showed eight contractors.

The project, which was tendered in December, will include a 71,500-barrel-a-day (b/d) crude distillation unit, a 96,800-b/d vacuum distillation unit, a delayed coker unit, and additional utilities and offsite facilities.

The extra capacity will provide additional naphtha and propylene feedstock for Sohar’s petrochemicals plants, as well as meeting rising fuel demand in the sultanate.

Orpic is currently restarting the Sohar refinery after a 50-day maintenance turnaround, although the complex’s wet gas scrubber is still being repaired from damage during a fire in March.