Qatar’s Laffan Refinery Company has launched the prequalification process for the estimated $1bn second phase expansion of its condensate refinery.

International engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors have until 19 February to submit prequalification documents, according to a source close to the project, speaking on the sidelines of MEED’s Qatar Projects conference in Doha.

The scheme will enable the complex to process 147,000 barrels a day (b/d) of condensate from the North field into liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), naphtha, kerosene and gasoil. Condensates are currently sold by Qatar International Petroleum Marketing Company (Tasweeq) and shipped by Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat), mostly to Asia.

France’s Technip has carried out the Front-end engineering and design (Feed). EPC bids for the facility could be launched in the second half of the year, with completion slated for 2016.

State-owned Qatar Petroleum (QP) is also in talks with France’s Total over further plans to expand the refinery which opened in 2009 and currently processes 140,000 b/d of condensates. Total already has a 10 per cent stake in the Laffan Refinery Company along with QP, the US’ ExxonMobil and four Japanese firms: Cosmo Oil, Idemitsu, Marubeni Corporation and Mitsui.