Oman Oil Company (OOC) has pushed back the start-up date for its Duqm Refinery, as it prepares to award the project’s front-end engineering and design (feed) contract, according to a senior manager at the company.

The state-owned company expects to complete the 230,000 barrels a day (b/d) refinery in the sultanate’s central Al-Wusta province by the end of 2018

“Licencing has been done. We are proceeding to award the feed and we are expecting that phase to be 14 months,” said Najla al-Jamali, associate director for strategy and performance management at OOC, speaking at MEED’s Oman Projects Forum in Muscat on 29 October.

The refinery will be based on importing crude from outside of Oman and exporting refined products to the international market, she added.

“Phase two of the project will be a petrochemicals complex. That is still being studied,” said Al-Jamali.

OOC is behind $15bn-worth of new projects in Duqm and the surrounding area.

Duqm Petroleum Terminal Company (DPTC), a joint venture of OOC (90 per cent) and the Port of Duqm (10 per cent) is building a liquid jetty and storage terminal to handle the refinery’s crude supplies and exports.

Phase one comprises the jetty infrastructure, marine works for new port basin, superstructures, petroleum coke storage facilities, associated buildings and workshops, while phase two covers the jetty operation and construction of storage facilities.

“[The project is an] important link between how these products move in and out of the refinery,” Al-Jamali said. “We expect the port to be operational by the end of 2017.”

OOC is also constructing a 230 kilometre, 36-inch pipeline from the Saih Nahada gas hub to the Duqm industrial area and a gas supply station with capacity of 5 million cubic metres a day. It is expected to be commissioned by 2016.

Meanwhile, Oman Tank Terminal Company (OTTCO), a subsidiary of OOC, is preparing to award the feed and project management consultancy (PMC) contracts on its Ras Markaz crude storage terminal, located 70km south of Duqm.