The Omani Government is finalising discussions with two major potential stakeholders in refinery and petrochemicals complex at Duqm- a port town in central-eastern Oman. Over 20 firms have expressed an interest as planners issue tender for the free trade zone, after the Supreme Committee for Town Planning issued a tender for a masterplan covering the integration of the refinery complex within the free zone and industrial area. More than 20 firms have shown interest in the contract, including the UK's Atkins, Lebanon's Khatib & Alami, Japan's Pacific Consultants International, South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Company, Kuwait's KEO International Consultants and Germany's Fichtner Consulting Engineers.
Bids are due in mid-February, with a decision expected by August. The refinery, processing heavy Omani crude oil, will have capacity of 300,000 barrels a day (bpd). The complex is expected to include one of the world's largest polypropylene plants, aromatics mixed-feedstock facilities and a cracker plant. Commercial production is planned for 2012.