Companies invited to submit technical bids for the scheme include Paris-based Technip, Australia’s WorleyParsons, and Mustang Engineering, Foster Wheeler and Fluor Corporation, all of the US.

Estimated to cost $3,000 million-3,500 million, the proposed expansion will add nameplate capacity of 300,000 barrels a day (b/d) to the 415,000-b/d refinery. The proposed expansion will produce unleaded gasoline, naphtha, aviation turbine fuel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), kerosene, gas-oil, bunker fuel and other hydrocarbon derivatives.

The study will include drawing up the statement of requirements and suggestions for the construction of naphtha hydrotreaters and splitters, twin catalytic reformers, isomerisation units, distillate hydrotreaters, vacuum distillation units, hydrocrackers and fluid catalytic crackers (FCCs). The study will also look at process streams and the final plant configuration.

The impact of the proposed expansion on the greenfield export refinery planned in Fujairah remains unclear. A tender, due by the third quarter of 2005 for project management consultancy (PMC) services for the 300,000-b/d facility, has still to be issued.

In late March, Yousef Omair bin Yousef, secretary-general of the Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC), was quoted as saying by the official Emirates News Agency (WAM) that International Petroleum Investment Company, the investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government, had been ‘assigned by the SPC to conduct a study on the proposed refinery at Fujairah’.