The four shortlisted banks are ANZ Investment Bank, Arab Banking Corporation, BNP Paribasand Gulf International Bank (GIB – MEED 30:1:03). Banking sources say that GIB is likely to fall away from the competition on the back of its award of the financial advisory mandate for the proposed ammonia/urea fertiliser plant being developed by Engro Chemical Pakistan and Oman Oil Company, which will also be located at Sohar.

‘We’ve been told that the delays on the Sohar refinery project have led to a rescheduling of the OPP financing, though the rest of the project is moving ahead,’ says one of the interested bankers (MEED 7:3:02).

OPP plans to take its propylene feedstock from the Sohar refinery, the financing of which moved forward with the issue of a preliminary information memorandum on 27 February.

OPP is a joint venture between Oman Oil Company, which has a 60 per cent stake, and South Korea’s LG Internationaland The Hague office of ABB Lummus Global, with 20 per cent each. The plant, scheduled for completion in 2006, is expected to cost $200 million-250 million and will have capacity of 340,000 tonnes a year of various grades of polypropylene (MEED 6:12:02).