State-owned oil company Saudi Aramco has started the prequalification process for the power plant to be built next to the $7bn Jizan refinery in the southwest of the kingdom.

The scheme will be larger than most conventional power projects, as it has also incorporated packages from the refinery. It will be using technology provided by an international oil company.

Aramco invited international engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors in early February to submit prequalification documents. The deadline for submissions is 17 February.  

“This could be the largest Aramco project of 2013,” says an oil and gas executive working in the kingdom. “Most contractors expect the budget to be at least $3bn, but some are saying it could rise to as much as $5bn.”

After the prequalification process has been completed, Aramco will then issue tenders for the packages to the successful EPC contractors. A lump-sum turnkey (LSTK) contract model is being used to execute the project.  

The scheme will be split into five packages:

  • Air separation unit/oxygen supply
  • Combined-cycle power plant
  • Gasification
  • Offsites and utilities
  • Sulphur recovery

The scheme will be an integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) power plant, which will have a capacity of 2,400MW and use technology provided by the UK/Dutch Shell Group.

The US’ KBR is carrying out the front-end engineering and design (feed) as well as the project management consultancy (PMC) for the refinery and power plant.

MEED reported in September that the Jizan Refinery Project will only need about 500MW of power from the proposed IGCC, with the remainder being used to power potential large-scale industrial projects at Jizan Economic City.

The IGCC model is an unconventional method of building a power plant and works by mixing hydrocarbons with oxygen to produce synthesis gas (syngas), which is then used to fire turbines.

The sulphur recovery unit and the fuel gas de-sulphurisation package have already been taken from the Jizan refinery scope and added to the power plant.

MEED reported in March that Aramco was taking over the power plant project from the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), which was previously in charge of its development.