State-run Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) has received bids from international construction companies to expand its Sitra oil refinery, Reuters reported.

Sitra is the largest refinery on the island, which is located south of Manama, the capital city of Bahrain, and the sole refine ring facility in the country. It produces about 260,000b/d of crude oil and 40,000b/d of low sulphur diesel. The total estimated investment on the expansion is expected to be about $5b. The expansion is slated for completion by 2017 and aims to boost the refinery’s processing capacity to 360,000b/d of crude. The project comes under BAPCO Modernization Program (BMP), according to Hydrocarbons-technology.

The companies participating in the tender include Japan’s JGC Corporation and Mitsui and Co. , as well as South Korea’s GS, Technip, Tecnicas Reunidas, Samsung Engineering, Hyundai Engineering and Construction,  and Daewoo Engineering and Construction. The contract is  expected to be awarded by the first quarter of 2017.

The refinery at Sitra was constructed in 1936 with an initial production capacity of about 10,000b/d. The Bahrain government retained 100% ownership of the refinery by establishing the Barhain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) in 1999. The refinery imports about 85% of the crude oil from Saudi Arabia. It is connected by a 54km pipeline to Saudi Arabia for pumping the feedstock. BAPCO sells 8% of the production from the refinery to the domestic market in Bahrain and exports the remaining 92% of the production to India, Middle East, Far East and other South East Asian countries, and to Africa.