Prequalifiers line up for Sohar

26 October 2001

The newly formed Sohar Refinery Company (SRC)has invited five prequalified groups to submit proposals by 20 May for the contract to build the 75,000-barrel-a-day Sohar refinery (see Tenders). The invitation coincides with the signing of an offtake agreement between SRC and the UK's BPfor the non-domestic output of the refinery. SRC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the state-owned Oman Refinery Company ( ORC- MEED 21:9:01).

A pre-bid meeting, held on 12 November, was attended by representatives from four of the prequalified groups. It was then followed on 13 November by site visits. The award of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract is expected in the third quarter of next year.

The scope of work calls for the installation of several units including: gas/oil recovery; residual fluidised catalytic cracker; amine regeneration; indirect alkylation; distillate unionfining process; hydrogen generation; sour water stripping; sulphur recovery; sulphur granulation and packaging; and gasoline hydro-desulphurisation. The cracker will be licensed by UOPof the US.

The EPC contractor will also be responsible for all the civil and electrical works including a substation; an electricity-receiving and distribution network; a seawater intake system; water-cooling, desalination, potable and service water facilities; a steam and condensate system; a fuel gas and natural gas system; an instrumentation and plant air system; chemicals preparation and injection facilities; and a flushing oil system.

Offsites will cover slop tankage, product and component tankage, truck and marine-loading facilities and a wastewater treatment and flare system. Marine facilities will also include a tempered water system, closed drainage facilities and a liquified petroleum gas (LPG) vapouriser. The US-based ABB Lummus Globalis acting as the project management consultant.

BP's offtake agreement with SRCis for all refined products from the refinery that are not required for domestic use. These will include gasoline, low-sulphur gas oil, fuel oil blendstock, LPG and sulphur.

The plant is due to start production in 2006. Total project costs are estimated at $870 million. Finance for the project is expected to come from a variety of sources including international banks and export credit agencies. Bank of Americais the financial adviser (MEED 9:11:01).

The refinery will also feed a 340,000-tonne-a-year polypropylene unit, which is to be built by ORC in joint venture with an international company. Two prospective partners are competing for the $150 million project. Copenhagen-based Borealisand a team of ABB Lummus and South Korea's LG Grouphave recently submitted their offers. A selection is expected by early December (MEED 26:1:01, Petrochemicals).

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