Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical have received bids for the planned $5bn phase II expansion for the PetroRabigh refinery and petrochemicals complex on the west coast of Saudi Arabia.

The bids are now in for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) packages at the complex and the evaluation period will start shortly. Japan’s JGC Corporation is carrying out the front-end engineering and design (feed)

“I am not sure whether all of the bids for all of the packages have been opened yet,” says a contracting source based in Saudi Arabia. “But all of the bids are now in and everyone is just waiting to hear.”

The packages for PetroRabigh:

  • Ethylene cracker: De-bottlenecking
  • Aromatics Complex
  • Cumene, Phenol and Cyclohexanone
  • Caprolactam and Nylon-6
  • EVA/LDPE, EPR, TPO and PMMA
  • MTBE/IB, MMA and Metathesis
  • Acrylic Acid and SAP

Conflicting reports have emerged regarding the timeline for the execution of the EPC contracts for the scheme. The tender process has proceeded as normal, but question marks still remain over the financing.

In May, MEED reported that major financial institutions did not expect the project to achieve financial close until 2013 (MEED 13:5:11).

“It is possible that there is some form of interim finance agreement in place that will allow work to proceed, but if there isn’t then work cannot start until the finance is closed,” says the source.  

The partners, Saudi Aramco and Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical plans to process an additional 30 million cubic feet a year of ethane and 3 million tonnes a year (t/y) of naphtha after the expansion.

They will achieve this by expanding the existing ethane cracker and aromatics unit, which processes naphtha at the facility.

The first phase of the project started production in November 2009 and produces more than 20 million-t/y of petroleum and petrochemicals products.