Jordan’s Petroleum Refinery Company (JPRC) said on Wednesday seven international contractors had qualified to bid for a $2.6 billion project to expand the country’s sole refinery.
Company officials said the project, that could begin as early as third quarter of next year and is expected to be completed in 2023, aims to double refining capacity to about 120,000 barrels per day (bpd).
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They said the government was pushing them to speed up awarding the contract to reduce a costly imports bill and help attract more foreign investment.
Jordan imports most of its crude oil from Saudi Arabia with small amounts from Iraq.
The long-delayed project will help upgrade fuel quality, convert heavy fuel oil into products such as jet fuel and gasoline and meet higher environmental standards, the company said, allowing it to cover 90 percent of the petroleum products market in the kingdom.
Bids were received from Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, and British companies that have formed three consortia.
The bids include financial offers and financing proposals, a senior company official said without giving further details.
Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company invited companies in January this year to prequalify for the project that officials hope will be mainly financed from credit agencies and existing shareholders.
The state-owned pension fund, the company’s main shareholder, has expressed interest in financing the project.
Jeddah-based Islamic Bank for Development owns 6 percent of the company, with Jordanian investors and some foreign funds accounting for the rest.
Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company currently supplies almost half of the country’s petroleum products after a 50-year market monopoly ended, with the government fully liberalizing imports of petroleum products nearly five years ago.
Two Jordanian companies and France’s TotalEnergies now directly import almost half the country’s gasoline requirement.
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