The US’ Jacobs Engineering has emerged as the frontrunner for the engineering, procurement, construction and management (EPCM) contract for the chlorine plant at the $18bn Aramco Dow petrochemicals joint venture in Saudi Arabia.

Jacobs carried out the front-end engineering and design (feed) for the chlorine plant at the complex and is now believed to be in discussions with the joint-venture partners behind the scheme to roll the feed over to EPCM.

“With the chlorine package, there are a lot of complicated issues that need to be resolved and awarding an EPCM package is a tried and tested way of ensuring the job runs smoothly,” a source familiar with the project says. “Jacobs did the feed so is the logical choice to step up and I think Dow [Chemical] will be happy with that.”

Dow Chemical is a 50:50 joint-venture partner with Saudi Aramco in the complex, which is being built at Jubail in the Eastern province and is the largest of its type to be built in one phase.   

Contracts for the Aramco Dow project are now starting to be awarded. The US’ Fluor and South Korea’s Daelim Industrial were the first two companies to be awarded major contracts for the scheme (MEED 22:7:11)