Work is also planned at the Isfahan and Bandar Abbas refineries. National Iranian Oil Refining & Distribution Company (NIORDC) is understood to have budgeted some $1,900 million for refinery work over the coming two years. NIORDC also plans to upgrade another four refineries at a later stage.

The most advanced project is the Arak refinery expansion, involving the installation of a new fluid catalytic converter (FCC) and the revamp of an existing hydrotreater. The work will increase capacity to 200,000 barrels a day (b/d) from 150,000 b/d. An EPC tender worth approximately $700 million is anticipated in September and a contract award in early 2004. Japan’s JGC Corporationis carrying out the front-end engineering and design (FEED) for the job and the US’ UOPwill license technology for the FCC.

An EPC tender will be launched late this year or in early 2004 for a new hydrotreater and hydrogen and sulphur recovery units at Abadan. The UK office of Foster Wheeler is carrying out the FEED package on the estimated $500 million job. Foster Wheeler and the Royal Dutch/Shell Groupare the technology licensors. Another phase, involving the installation of an FCC, is planned at a later date.

At Isfahan, another FCC is planned to boost capacity to 375,000 b/d from 200,000 b/d. The feasibility study is being carried out by Paris-based Beicip-Franlabin partnership with the local Namvaran. A FEED contract will be awarded by the end of the year. A feasibility study is also being carried out by Italy’s Snamprogettito install a new train at Bandar Abbas refinery. The study will be completed this year.