Prequalified contractors are preparing to submit bids by a revised 1 November closing date for the installation of polyethylene (PE) capacity at the Arabian Petrochemical Company (Petrokemya) complex in Jubail. Four companies are expected to price the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract, which calls for the addition of 400,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of linear low/high density PE using the Unipol process technology (MEED 7:7:00).

Prospective bidders are understood to include Italy’s Snamprogetti, Japan’s Toyo Engineering Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, also of Japan, and the UK’s Kvaerner E & C.

The US’ Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) was selected to supply its Unipol PE technology in June. At the time, UCC said that construction of the new unit would start in the first quarter of 2001 and be completed in the third quarter of 2002.

Petrokemya, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), currently produces ethylene, polystyrene, butene-1, propylene, butadiene and benzene.

The PE project comes at a time of increased project activity at Sabic and its affiliates. Four bids are under evaluation at Sabic for the post of project manager on the new Jubail petrochemicals complex, which will produce ethylene, PE and ethylene glycol (MEED 8:9:00). Toyo has also recently been awarded an EPC contract to debottleneck the National Chemical Fertiliser Company (Ibn al-Baytar) ammonia plant at Jubail (MEED 25:8:00).