Seven pre-qualified applicants have been invited to submit tenders for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for the Duqm Refinery in Oman.
The Duqm Refinery is a key project being constructed in a 900 hectare-area with an investment of more than $6.5 billion.
The capacity of the facility will be 230,000 barrels per day.
Site preparation is currently under way and commissioning is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of 2018, with full operation expected by the fourth quarter of 2019.
The applicants include a combination of joint ventures, alliances and sole entities involving a total of 15 international firms, said a Times of Oman report.
It added the tender is likely to comprise two EPC contracts, noting that the larger contract will consist of all the equipment and structures required to process the crude oil, while the second contract would comprise facilities, utilities, tankage and buildings.
Meanwhile, an official at the Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm (Sezad) said there were 23 construction projects currently under way in the zone with 14 in the tendering stage.
Sezad urban planning manager Anwar Kahlan Al Battashi said these projects had a total value of around RO200 million ($519 million).
He said Duqm would be developed over several phases and several decades.
The timeframe for the first phase is 2015 to 2025, the second is expected between 2026 and 2035, the third from 2036 to 2045, and the fourth phase thereafter, he said.
According to him, the zone would boast a mix of heavy, medium and light industries, which will conform to environmental and sustainability principles.
Another major project planned for Duqm is a beach resort which will be developed on a 45-hectare area at a cost of $500 million.
The project includes tourism, residential and commercial components, Al Battashi said.