• Aramco expected to extend bid deadline
  • Each main package expected to be worth more than $2bn
  • South Koreans dominate bid list

Saudi Aramco could extend the bid deadline for the construction tenders at the planned gas processing plant adjacent to the Fadhili oil field in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.

The move follows the decision by many of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors bidding for the packages at the scheme to split into consortiums. The original bid deadline for the scheme is set for April 15, but all of the bidders are now requesting more time to formulate bids.

“This project has escalated considerably and now that the capacity has been raised so much, a lot of bidders have decided to ask for more time,” says a gas source based in Saudi Arabia. “Requests for extensions ranging from one to three months [are expected].”

MEED reported in November that the capacity for the Fadhili gas plant was being increased from 1 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d) to 2.5 billion cf/d. The packages and bidders for the scheme are:

Packages

  • Package 1: Main processing facilities
  • Package 2: Sulphur recovery unit (SRU)
  • Package 3: Offsites and utilities

Bidders for all three packages

Bidder for packages 2 and 3

The budget for the Fadhili plant has also escalated and the initial $5bn estimates have been raised to about $6.5bn. Each package is expected to be valued at more than $2bn. Other work will be tendered in the future, including a large pipeline package.

The Fadhili plant will process sour gas from the Khursaniyah oil field and the Hasbah non-associated gas field. Aramco has ramped up its offshore non-associated gas operations in the Gulf in recent years and is developing several fields in the region. These include the Karan, Hasbah and Arabiyah fields.

Much of the gas contained in the oil major’s Eastern Province hydrocarbon assets is sour, meaning it has a high sulphur content. This makes it more difficult to process than sweeter gas, which has minimal amounts of sulphur.

The contract model will be lump-sum turnkey with a percentage of the engineering work and project management to be carried out overseas.

The UK’s Amec Foster Wheeler is carrying out the front-end engineering and design (feed) for the project.

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