By Tom Arnold and Davide Barbuscia
DUBAI, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) is in talks with export credit agencies (ECAs) to finance the expansion of its Sitra oil refinery, a project estimated at around $5 billion, sources familiar with the situation said on Thursday.
The state-run Bahraini company is talking to seven or eight ECAs to back a component of the project financing, said one of the sources, who added that the financing could be finalised as early as the first half of next year.
Bapco said in an emailed response to Reuters that it cannot disclose any information at this stage about the refinery expansion project until all formalities are finalised with all concerned parties.
BNP Paribas and HSBC are advising the company on the project financing, which according to one of the sources is expected to have an 18-year maturity, including a four-year construction period.
Bapco wants to increase the processing capacity of the Sitra oil refinery from the current 267,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 360,000 bpd.
The companies that have formed consortia and submitted bids to work on the expansion include Japan's JGC Corp and South Korea's GS ; Technip , Tecnicas Reunidas and Samsung Engineering ; Fluor , Hyundai Engineering and Construction and Daewoo E&C; and CB&I and Petrofac , as previously reported.
Wholly owned by the Government of Bahrain , Bapco's operations are in the refining, distribution, sale and export of crude oil and refined products.
(Writing by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Ruth Pitchford) ((Davide.Barbuscia@thomsonreuters.com;))
Keywords: BAPCO PROJECT FINANCE/