The move comes despite the wave of uncertainty in the regional refining sector, caused by rapidly rising costs (MEED 21:12:07).

Up to 10 engineering, procurement and construction contractors are thought to have been invited to submit interest. They include Daelim Industrial Company, GS Engineering & Construction, Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company and SK Engineering & Construction, all of South Korea, Paris-based Technip, and Foster Wheeler and Washington Group International, both of the US.

The expressions of interest must be submitted by 13 January. QP says it plans to finalise prequalification and invite bids for the lump-sum turnkey contract by the end of May, with a view to awarding the deal by November.

The 250,000-barrel-a-day (b/d) refinery will produce distillates, bitumen and green coke.

US-based Jacobs Engineering with Beicip of France undertook the pre-front-end engineering and design (FEED) package, while the FEED and project management contractor is Technip (MEED 22:9:07).

Several major projects in the region have been running into trouble. Saudi Aramco is struggling with cost increases at its two planned export refineries in Jubail and Yanbu, while the US’ Conoco-Phillips recently pulled out of the Fujairah refinery scheme in the UAE, citing cost concerns.