The $15bn Saudi Aramco petrochemicals joint venture with the US’ Dow Chemical at Jubail is about to release the first three engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) packages to prequalified contractors.

Three packages are being sent out for the project at Jubail with the rest planned to be released over the next few months, says a source close to the project.

“[Saudi] Aramco has been pretty quiet during December, but it looks like it is really starting to push this project forward,” says the source. “It is a massive job, though, so the sooner they begin the whole process, the better.”

The first package release is the contract to build the hydrogen, carbon monoxide and ammonia plants at the complex. The plants will be constructed on a build, own, operate and transfer basis. Four companies have prequalified to bid on package 1:

  • Paraxair Inc (US)
  • Linde Group (Germany)
  • Air Liquid Arabia (France)
  • Air Product & Chemical/Abdullah Hashim Industrial Gases & Equipment Co (US/Saudi Arabia)

The second package involves the construction of the polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (PMD) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI) production facilities. A total of seven bidders have been prequalified for the package including two consortiums.

  • Fluor (US)
  • Daelim Industrial (South Korea)
  • Technip (France)
  • JGC Corporation (Japan)
  • Aker Kvaerner (Norway) and Sinopec International (China)
  • SK Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Hyundai Engineering & Construction (South Korea) and Jacobs Engineering (US)

The third package involves the construction of the aniline-formalin and DNT-nitric facilities. Seven contractors have been prequalified:

  • Daelim
  • Toyo Engineering (Japan)
  • Technip (France)
  • JJC
  • Technicas Reunidas (Spain)
  • Saipem (Italy)
  • Samsung Engineering (South Korea)

Packages 2 and 3 also confirm the announcement in December by Saudi Aramco chief executive officer, Khalid al-Falih, that the complex will concentrate on producing speciality chemicals (MEED 10:12:10).

The complex will be constructed at Jubail Industrial City 2 in the Eastern Province of the kingdom. A lease has been signed and the new location is about 1 kilometre away from the Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Company (Satorp) project.