Saudi Aramco’s planned $600m bulk storage facility at Shoaiba has still not issued construction tenders due to a number of unresolved issues.

The plant will provide refined petroleum products to the southwest of the kingdom and is unusual because it will be tendered as a build-own-transfer (BOT) scheme with a 22-year lease period and three years for construction.

“Aramco is taking its time with this project for a number of reasons,” says a contracting source based in the kingdom. “This is a large BOT project for Aramco and, as a result, wants to ensure that it has all the relevant permits and paperwork in place with the different government agencies before it proceeds.”

The facility will consist of a marine terminal and a tank farm that will be able to store about 400,000 barrels of gasoline, benzene and diesel. The products will be shipped in from refineries at Yanbu and Petro Rabigh before being distributed along the southwest coast.

About 22 bidders are interested in the project, as either stand-alone companies or part of a consortium, although it is likely this figure will be reduced to about 10 at a later date (MEED 15:4:11).

The project is the latest of several schemes aimed at revamping the kingdoms distribution network of petroleum products.

Other bulk storage facilities currently under construction include a $140m plant at Wasea in the central region of the Saudi Arabia, as well as several smaller storage areas spread across the kingdom.