The joint venture partners developing a new $500m N-Butanol plant in Saudi Arabia are evaluating bids submitted from international contractors for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the project.

The project is split equally between Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) subsidiary Saudi Kayan, Saudi Aramco and US’ Dow Chemical joint venture the Sadara Chemical Company and the National Industrialisation Company (Tasnee).

The project has been planned since early 2011, but has taken some time to roll out due to the number of stakeholders involved.

“Bids have now been submitted for this project and the joint venture partners behind the scheme will make a decision by late October or early November,” says a petrochemicals industry source based in Saudi Arabia.

The project is being tendered on a lump-sum turn-key (LSTK) basis and three bidders are believed to be in the running for the contract award. They are:

  • Daelim Industrial (South Korea)
  • Samsung Engineering and Linde (South Korea/Germany)
  • Tecnimont (Italy)

The scope of works includes the construction of an N-Butanol facility with a capacity of 330,000 tonnes a year in Saudi Kayan’s acrylic complex at Jubail Industrial City in the Eastern Province. The basic engineering has been carried out by Dow Chemical, which is also the technology provider.

Construction work will commence in 2013 and the stakeholders expect the plant to start production in late 2014-early 2015.

N-Butanol is used in a wide range of products, for example, as an artificial flavouring in food products, but is mostly used as an industrial intermediate for the manufacture of butyl acetate.