Chinese take first Saudi cement plant contract

29 October 2004
China's Sinomahas been awarded the estimated $240 million turnkey contract to build a new clinker plant at Al-Majardah, north of Abha, for the local Southern Province Cement Company (SPCC). The deal is the first greenfield cement project to be awarded to a Chinese company in the kingdom (MEED 15:10:04).

Sinoma won the contract following the submission of revised bids in late September and against competition from four companies including Japan's Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI)and Denmark's FL Smidth. A final agreement between SPCC and Sinoma is scheduled to be signed on 20 November. Mobilisation and site preparation is due to begin before the end of the year.

Sinoma has offered to carry out the project in 26 months in a single phase and not - as initially requested by the client - in 36 months over two phases. The fast-track proposal was favoured by the client in view of strong cement and clinker demand across the kingdom.

The project's scope covers the construction of a complete clinker plant with clinker grinding and packaging facilities and guaranteed production capacity of 5,000 tonnes a day (t/d), and an estimated actual output of up to 5,500 t/d. The turnkey job also involves the construction of a 56-MW, diesel-fuelled captive power plant, a reverse osmosis (RO) desalination unit and sewage treatment and related facilities. The client has requested a significant share of the plant's equipment to be ordered from Europe and the US. It is understood that Sinoma is presently negotiating with several equipment and technology suppliers.

India's Holtec, SPCC's consultant in the preliminary stages of the project, is now acting as adviser while Austroplan Austrian Engineeringhas been appointed consultant and will oversee construction.

SPCC's existing facility at Jizan produces 7,000 t/d of clinker.

Sinoma has built more than 40 cement plants with over 50 complete sets of cement production lines in China, 20 of which have capacity in the range of 2,000-4,000 t/d of clinker. The company has also carried out projects in countries such as Bangladesh, Malaysia, Myanmar and Pakistan.

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