Saudi Aramco has set a 19 March tender closing date for marine engineering works at the $5bn Ras al-Khair maritime complex, located on the east coast of the kingdom.

The tender closing date has been extended several times and was originally due to be submitted last year.

The prospective bidders for the contract that could be worth up to $1bn include:

The three and a half year contract is due to be completed in 2020 and involves 35 million cubic metres of dredging and reclamation work.

A range of facilities will be built at Ras al-Khair, including seven fully equipped dry docks, two basins and five piers, a ship lift system, workshops, warehouses and utility services areas, as well as office buildings, living quarters, and recreational facilities for more than 10,000 workers.

A consortium of the Netherlands’ Royal Haskoning and South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction said it was awarded a five-month front-end engineering and design (feed) contract for the project last year.

The scheme is being managed by Saudi Aramco.

This month, US-based offshore specialist McDermott signed a memorandum of understanding with Aramco to build a new fabrication and marine complex at Ras al-Khair.

Aramco also signed an agreement with the local National Shipping Company (Bahri), the UAE’s Lamprell Energy and South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries, in 2016 for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services.

The Ras al-Khair complex has other components including a forging and casting facility, for which Aramco has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the US’ GE and Italy’s Cividale.

GE and Cividale are investing more than $400m to construct a first of its kind facility that is set to be operational in 2020 and will create 2,000 jobs. Aramco and Germany’s MAN have also signed a MoU to establish a vessel engine manufacturing facility in the complex.

Ras al-Khair is part of Aramco plans to spend $334bn in the next 10 years as the firm looks to improve oil and gas infrastructure and boost the kingdom’s economic competitiveness through the development of industrial hubs.