Bidding accelerates at Sipchem

16 January 2006
Commercial bids are under evaluation at SaudiInternational Petrochemical Company (Sipchem)for the acetic acid and vinyl acetic monomer (VAM) plants package at its Jubail acetyls complex. Prices are also due to be submitted soon for the carbon monoxide (CO) unit and utilities and offsites (U&O) package (MEED 7:10:05).

Three international contractors - Oslo-based Aker Kvaerner, Fluor Corporation of the US and Germany's Lurgi- are understood to have priced in December the estimated $250 million-350 million package covering the construction of a 460,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) acetic acid, 50,000-t/y acetic anhydride and 300,000-t/y vinyl acetic VAM units.

The contract will be awarded on a cost reimbursible basis and converted into a lump-sum turnkey (LSTK) contract at a later stage. Site preparation for the complex is already well under way, with full project completion scheduled for late summer 2008 (MEED 12:8:05).

Commercial bids are now due on 16 January for the 265,000-t/y CO unit and U&O package following an upward revision to the scope of work. Three international contractors -Germany's Linde, as well as Lurgi and AkerKvaerner - submitted in September technical proposals for the estimated $175 million-250 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.

The scheme is being developed by a JV of Sipchem and the local National Power Company (NPC- MEED 11:11:05).

Banks submitted bids in December for the $500 million financing package. Mandated lead arrangers are expected to be appointed by the end of January.

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