Saudi Aramco are expected to further delay the tender for the combined front-end engineering, design (feed) and project management services contract for the $7bn Jizan Refinery project in Saudi Arabia.

Aramco keeps telling contractors that it is postponed for a month, but it will probably be longer

A source familiar with the project tells MEED that the prequalified contractors are now not expecting the tender until 2011.

“I don’t think anything is going to move for the next three to six months,” the source says. “Aramco keeps telling contractors that it is postponed for a month, but it will probably be longer.”

The source adds that the delay is due to Aramco expecting the cost of raw materials to drop in the next six months. “If [Aramco] delay it for a short time they could save a lot of money. It is a clever strategy,” the source says.  

MEED reported in early September that the Jizan Refinery was delayed by at least one month (MEED 3:9:10).  

The scope of works for the successful bidder will include the design of a 400,000 barrels-a-day hydroskimming refinery with an associated marine terminal. As part of the project managing package the contractor will also be involved in tendering out and supervising the construction contracts.

The Jizan Refinery project was initially planned to become the first independent oil refinery in the kingdom. However, due to only two bids being submitted, Aramco took over management of the development in February.