At least four bidders are expected to submit proposals for the scheme, which is part of a wide-reaching upgrade of domestic refining capacity to help meet domestic petrol consumption. The client is National Iranian Oil Refining & Distribution Company (NIORDC) and the front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract was carried out by France’s Technip.

Companies expected to participate in the tender include Chegalesh, Nargan and Namvaran, all local, Uhde and Lurgi, both German, South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company and China’s Sinopec. It is not clear how the project will be financed in light of tight government project spending and low interest among international banks.

Bidding groups are also forming to take part in the $2,000 million Bandar Abbas condensates project. Two consortiums have already said they will take part. They are Sazeh Consult and Nargan, both local, with Hyundai E&C and Uhde, and Bina and Tehran Jonoob, both local, with Italy’s Snamprogetti. Another consortium is now believed to be under formation.

The project is one of three greenfield refineries planned by NIORDC. However, the

FEED is not yet complete, making it very improbable that bids will be submitted by the 21 June deadline.