France’s Technip has won a contract to carry out the front-end engineering design (feed) work on a new refinery project in Fujairah on the east coast of the UAE, according to a company active on the scheme.

Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) plans to build a 200,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) refinery in Fujairah by 2016, with total investment estimated at $3.5bn.

Technip won the contract ahead of several other bidding companies, including US engineering firm Fluor. The feed phase is likely to be completed in early 2013 before Ipic tenders the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract later that year.

Ipic had previously awarded the project management consultancy (PMC) contract to the US’ Stone & Webster, which also carried out the project’s pre-feed phase.

The Fujairah refinery is strategically placed as it allows the UAE to export refined oil products bypassing the Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Gulf.

Ipic had originally planned to build the project in partnership with the US’ ConocoPhilips, while Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (Takreer) was previously planning to develop the project.

Meanwhile, a financial adviser is expected to beappointed for the refinery soon.