Aramco awards $7.7bn Fadhili gas plant expansion contracts

02 April 2024
MEED recently named frontrunners for the main EPC packages of the project, which will increase the processing capacity of the Fadhili gas plant by 1.5 billion cf/d

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Saudi Aramco has awarded engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts totalling $7.7bn to expand the Fadhili gas plant in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.

The project is expected to increase the Fadhili gas plant’s processing capacity from 2.5 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d) to up to 4 billion cf/d.

“The additional 1.5 billion cf/d of processing capacity is expected to contribute to the company’s strategy to raise gas production by more than 60% by 2030, compared to 2021 levels,” Aramco said in a statement on 2 April.

The Fadhili gas plant expansion, which is expected to be completed by November 2027, is also anticipated to add 2,300 metric tonnes a day of sulphur production, Aramco added.

MEED recently named frontrunners for the main EPC packages of the project, which will add three processing trains, each with a capacity of 500 million cf/d.

According to sources, the following contractors were in pole position to win the three main EPC works on the Fadhili gas plant expansion project:

  • Package 1 – Gas processing plant expansion – Samsung Engineering (South Korea)
  • Package 2 – Sulphur recovery units (SRUs) – GS Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Package 4 – Utilities and offsites – Samsung Engineering

Aramco’s statement named local contractor Nesma and Partners among the project contract winners. MEED understands the Al Khobar-based contractor has won the contract for package 3, which relates to early civil works on the project.

Aramco declined to respond to MEED’s request for comment on the information at the time.

MEED reported in November that Aramco was preparing to award contracts for the main EPC packages for the Fadhili gas plant expansion project in the first quarter of this year. The Saudi energy giant was previously expected to award the EPC contracts by the end of last year.

Contractors submitted bids for packages 1 and 2 on 16 September, and bids for packages 3 and 4 on 14 October, MEED previously reported.

Aramco issued the tenders for the EPC packages between March and April in 2023 and set 15 July as the initial deadline for submission of proposals, as MEED reported. Aramco organised a site visit for contractors on 15 May.

Four contractors are understood to have been bidding for the Fadhili gas plant expansion project:

  • GS Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Hyundai Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • JGC Gulf International (Saudi Arabia subsidiary of Japan-headquartered JGC Corporation)
  • Samsung Engineering (South Korea)

US-headquartered KBR is understood to have executed the project’s front-end engineering and design (feed) works.

Fadhili gas processing complex

The Fadhili gas processing complex, located 30 kilometres southwest of the Khursaniyah gas plant, was commissioned in early 2020 and has the capacity to process 2.5 billion cf/d of natural gas.

EPC works on the $6.5bn Fadhili gas processing complex were completed by the end of 2019.

There were five EPC packages in the project’s first phase, contracts for which were awarded in 2015.

Spanish contractor Tecnicas Reunidas was awarded packages 1 and 2, worth $2bn and $1bn, respectively. The scope of work on the two packages related to building the central gas processing facility and the utilities and interconnecting systems.

UK-based Petrofac won package 3, worth about $1.7bn. The scope included the construction of six sulphur recovery trains with associated facilities for sulphur and heavy-duty oil handling, loading, unloading and storage; sour water stripper, flare system and a wastewater treatment plant.

The fourth EPC package, worth about $450m, was awarded to a consortium of India’s Larsen & Toubro Energy Hydrocarbon, Saudi Arabia’s Arkad Engineering & Construction and local firm Denys Arabia. Package 4 related to constructing a pipeline network connecting the Fadhili gas plant to its feeder oil and gas fields and other gas plants in the Eastern Province.

A fifth package for industrial support facilities at the Fadhili gas plant site was awarded to local firm Al-Muhaidib Contracting.

The UK-headquartered Wood Group carried out the feed work on the Fadhili project and was also the project management consultant.

The Fadhili plant processes sour gas from the offshore Khursaniyah oil field and the offshore Hasbah non-associated gas field.

The Fadhili gas project is vital to Aramco’s goal of nearly doubling its gas production and processing capacity from 12 billion cf/d to 23 billion cf/d by the end of this decade.

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