Aramco outlined its plans for Yanbu to contractors at a meeting in the kingdom on 5 August. The US’ ConocoPhillips is Aramco’s joint venture partner.

Aramco expects more than 10 firms to bid for the $1.5bn offsite and utilities package. Bidders include the US’ CB&I Lummus, Italy’s Snamprogetti and Techint, Spain’s TR, the UK’s Petrofac, South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction, SK Engineering & Construction and Daelim Industrial Company, Egypt’s Engineering for the Petroleum & Process Industries (Enppi), Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) and Taiwan-based CTCI.

The US’ Foster Wheeler is understood to have declined to participate, choosing to focus on bidding for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) work on the larger hydrocarbon and gasoline components (MEED 11:7:08).

Another $900m package covers storage tanks and about six firms, including all three Korean firms, are understood to be bidding.

The solids handling package, worth $500m, is being sought by Techint, Snamprogetti, Daelim and the UK’s Petrofac.

Bids are due by 15 November, less than a fortnight after the EPC bids, which are due on 3 November. An award on the three latest packages is due to be made by February 2009.

The refinery is designed to process Arabian Heavy crude.