The US’ Bechtel has invited companies to bid by early November for the cast house package on the $5bn smelter project at Ras al-Zour in Saudi Arabia.

[Bechtel] has watered down the package slightly and now it looks like it will have a value of between $300m to $400m

Contracting source

The package is a lump sum turnkey engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contract, a contracting source familiar with the project tells MEED.

“[Bechtel] has watered down the package slightly and now it looks like it will have a value of between $300m to $400m,” the source says. “A lot of the engineering detailed design has been done in-house – more than expected. So the package is small based on what our expectation was.”

Bechtel declined to comment when contacted by MEED.

Bechtel is the engineering, procurement, construction and management (EPCM) contractor for the 740,000 tonnes-a-year (t/y) smelter project, a joint venture between Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) and the US’ Alcoa.

The smelter is the centrepiece of a $10.8bn aluminium complex being planned by the joint venture of Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) and the US’ Alcoa. The complex will also include a rolling mill and will have a capacity of up to 450,000-t/y, a 1.8 million t/y alumina refinery and a 4 million-t/y bauxite mine being built at Al-Baitha (MEED 2:8:10).