Abu Dhabi National Chemicals Company (Chemaweyaat) has completed preliminary feasibility studies for the $10bn first phase of its industrial chemicals city at Taweelah and may move ahead with tenders for design contracts on the project in the second quarter of the year, sources close to the company tell MEED.

A final study is due to be presented to the partners behind the scheme before the end of March, when a decision on how to move forward with the project will be made, says one executive close to the project.

Abu Dhabi Chemicals Output

Chemaweyaat is a joint venture of three state-owned companies: International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic), with a 40 per cent stake; Abu Dhabi Investment Company, with another 40 per cent stake; and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, a 20 per cent stakeholder.

Tacaamol, the first petrochemicals complex to be built at the company’s industrial city, Madeenat Chemaweyaat, is currently a 49:51 joint venture of Chemaweyaat and Ipic.  It is projected to cost more than $10bn and will produce more than 6.3 million tonnes a year (t/y) of chemicals upon completion.

A Chemaweyaat spokesman confirms that pre-front end engineering design (Feed) studies for the complex have been completed and tells MEED the technologies to be used in the giant petrochemicals complex have also been selected. The company declines to comment on a timeline for the Feed tendering process.

Sources at firms hoping to bid on deals to design the complex now believe Feed tenders could be issued in the second quarter of the year after lengthy delays. In May 2009, a senior Chemaweyaat executive told MEED that Feed tenders would be issued before the end of that year.

The delays came as the partners moved to integrate technologies acquired through the purchase of Canadian petrochemicals firm Nova and the expertise of another acquisition, Austria’s MAN Ferrostaal.

“We have made some schedule adjustments to the Tacaamol project in large part due to incorporating valuable technologies and services,” the Chemaweyaat spokesman says. Sources close to the company expect it to make a formal statement on the project in the second quarter of the year.

Doubts remain over the number of petrochemicals projects Abu Dhabi can sustain, especially given the financial strain caused by a $20bn bailout of neighbouring Dubai in 2009. Both Abu Dhabi Basic Industries Corporation and Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge) are considering new petrochemicals complexes in the emirate (MEED 26:2:2010).