Saudi Aramco has issued solicitations of interest for five main packages at the proposed 400,000-barrel-a-day

Jubail export refinery in the Eastern Province.

The five packages cover an aromatics unit, a conversion unit, a distillate and hydrotreater package, a coker unit, and a plant, utility and main pipe rack package.

A list of prequalified companies is expected to be issued in August, with invitations to bid due to be issued by the end of 2007. A contract is expected to be awarded in the second quarter of 2008. Start-up is planned in the first half

of 2012.

Aramco has not yet defined the type of contract for the scheme.

Contractors have been asked to state their preference for a lump-sum turnkey or cost-reimbursable arrangement.

Within the five packages, the detailed scope of works includes a hydrocracker, aromatics, gas plant, sulphur plant, fluid catalytic converter, reforming unit and alkalation unit.

The front-end engineering and design contract for the refinery is due by the end of 2007.

The planned refinery is being developed by a 50:50 joint venture of Saudi Aramco and France’s Total to process Arabian heavy crude.