Once proposals have been received, the sponsors are aiming to form a lead arranging group of seven-10 banks. Financial close is targeted for late 2002, while the loan tenor is expected to be in the range of 13-14 years.

The PIM had originally been expected to go out in July. However, the issue was delayed to allow the sponsors and their financial adviser, the Royal Bank of Scotland, to present a complete financing package to banks (MEED 12:7:02).

Bidding for the project’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract is proceeding, with the four prequalified groups due to submit technical bids on 10 October. The award of the EPC package is scheduled to coincide with financial close in late December.

The plant, to be located in Ras Laffan, will have a capacity of 34,000 barrels a day (b/d).