Oman Refineries and Petrochemicals Company (ORPC) has tendered the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the expansion of its refinery in Sohar, northern Oman.

The state-owned company, which floated the tender on 24 December, has asked prequalified EPC contractors to submit bids by 11 February.

The project is designed to increase the refinery’s capacity by 60 per cent to 187,000 barrels a day (b/d) from the current throughput of 116,000 b/d.

New plants will also be added including a 71,500-b/d crude distillation unit, a 96,800-b/d vacuum distillation unit, a delayed coker unit and additional utilities and offsite facilities.

ORPC is aiming to complete the estimated $1.5bn scheme by the first half of 2016. 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.

Companies and consortiums prequalified to bid for the EPC contract include:

  • Daewoo E&C (South Korea)/Lurgi (Germany)
  • Hyundai E&C (South Korea)
  • JGC Corporation (Japan)
  • GS E&C (South Korea)/Larsen & Toubro (India)
  • Daelim (South Korea)/Petrofac (UK)
  • Samsung Engineering (South Korea)/Chiyoda (Japan)
  • SK Engineering (South Korea)
  • Tecnicas Reunidas (Spain)
  • Technip (France)

In February 2011, US-based CB&I was awarded the front-end engineering and design (feed) contract for the refinery expansion and is also the scheme’s project management consultant (PMC).

ORPC, the petrochemicals arm of downstream group Oman Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic), has also floated a tender for the procurement of long lead items for the expansion project.

The additional refining capacity is expected to provide the feedstock for an $800m purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plant being planned in Sohar by Oman Oil Company (OOC).

The project is part of a wider expansion in Oman’s downstream oil industry. A joint venture between OOC and Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) is planning to build a 230,000 b/d refinery and petrochemicals complex in the central port of Duqm by 2017.