The local Al-Rajhi Steel has sent out solicitations of interest to the technology providers of the direct reduced iron (DRI) package of its planned $3bn steel project at the King Abdullah Economic City near Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

The two companies being invited to participate are the DRI specialists Midrex from the US and Italy’s Tenova HYL.

“[Al-Rajhi is] negotiating directly with the technology providers to save time,” says a source familiar with the project. “The gas allocation from Saudi Aramco is due to run out next year, so they have to move quickly.”

Al-Rajhi has not given any indication yet as to what execution strategy it is going to pursue for the complex. Options available include an engineering, procurement, construction and management (EPCM) strategy, where the scheme will be split into several small packages.

Another option is a lump-sum turnkey strategy, where it will be awarded as one large package with the technology nominated to the contractor.

The Al-Rajhi Steel project is expected to include a 1.8 million tonne-a-year (t/y) DRI plant as well as a complex that will produce a full suite of steel products, including billets and ingots, as well as a range of flat and long steel products (MEED 25:3:11).