Saudi Aramco will release the tender for the combined front-end engineering, design (feed) and project management services contract for the $7bn Jizan Refinery project at the end of September, a month later than planned.

Sources familiar with the project tell MEED that the winning bidder for the contract will be announced by the end of 2010. One source also says that the recent media speculation regarding moving the refinery to a new location will not affect the timeline of the project.

“Moving the [Jizan] refinery has been discussed for well over a year now,” a source tells MEED. “No contract for the front-end design has been signed yet so this is not a big issue. The refinery will stay in the Jizan area.”

Another source tells MEED that there is no frontrunner for the contract out of the prequalified companies.

“This is an open bid by Aramco,” the source says. “If you are prequalified you bid and if you are the lowest you get the contract.”

The list of companies prequalified for the contract has not been released, but the likely contenders for the project are:

  • WorleyParsons (Australia)
  • Foster Wheeler (US)
  • KBR (US)
  • Jacobs (US)
  • Fluor Corporation (US)
  • Technip (France)

The scope of works for the successful bidder will include the design of a 400,000 tonnes-a-year hydroskimming refinery with an associated marine terminal. As part of the project managing package the contractor will also be involved in tendering out and supervising the construction contracts.

Construction work is expected to start on the project in late 2011 with completion due by the end of 2015.

The Jizan Refinery project was initially planned to become the first independent oil refinery in the kingdom. However, due to only two bids being submitted, Aramco took over management of the development in February.