Oman Oil Refineries & Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) has shortlisted four international banks to participate in a bid to offer financial advisory services related to its Sohar refinery.

Bidders will have to provide two options by this month end, one related to the financing of Sohar refinery expansion project to increase its crude processing capacity by 70%, and another for the refinancing of the existing debt of its four project companies.

Total funds needed under the first option are estimated at $1.2bn, and could be $3bn under the second option, according to the Oman Daily Observer.

A financial adviser will be finalized by Orpic in the third quarter of this year including an engineering-procurement-construction contractor to undertake the expansion of Sohar refinery.

Orpic runs refineries at Sohar and Muscat, and aromatics and polypropylene production plants in the Sohar complex, which provide fuels, chemicals and feedstock to Oman and to the world.

The plant will also be modernized to meet the on-spec feedstock requirements of the adjoining aromatics and polypropylene schemes integrated with the refinery.

The expansion project is expected to commence early next year and be complete in 2015.