Omani authorities will announce the winner of the $750-million contract to build a refinery in the northern town of Sohar next month from a shortlist of five international firms, the oil ministry said Monday.
A ministry spokesman, quoted by the official ONA news agency, said that 30 local and foreign companies had tendered offers since last June's annoucement of the project.
"Five companies (from China, France, Japan and South Korea) have been shortlisted and the final decision will be made in April," he said.
Construction on the refinery, with a capacity of 75,000 barrels a day, will begin in the first quarter of 2002 and is expected to be completed by mid-2004, the spokesman said.
"The construction of this refinery will create more than 350 jobs for Omani nationals," he said. The refinery, to be built in Sohar some 220 kilometres (140 miles) north of Muscat, will produce petrol, diesel, propylene, fuel oil and fuel gas, primarily to meet the demands of the local market with the remainder being exported.
Oman currently has one oil refinery, operational since 1982 and with a production capacity of 85,000 barrels per day. The sultanate, which produces 900,000 barrels of oil a day, is not a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
It has, however, adhered over the last two years to production agreements between the cartel and other non-OPEC exporters.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse 2001.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)