State-run Saudi Aramco has received bids from 16 firms for the contract to build a $250m bulk plant at Wasea, southeast of Riyadh.

A Saudi-based contractor close to the project says the prequalified firms bid on 5 December. Aramco had pushed back the date from its original deadline of 14 November.

Aramco has set a deadline of 29 February 2012 for the successful contractor to finish building the plant.

The plant will handle an increase in petrol, diesel and fuel oil supplies to the region, with a capacity to handle 185,000 barrels a day of oil.

The companies who bid are Italy’s Techint, MS al-Suwaidi Industrial Services Company, MR al-Khathlan for Contracting, Nesma & Partners,Mohammed al-Mojil Group, Etec Arabia, all local, South Korea’s Daelim Industrial Company and SK Engineering & Construction, Japan’s Chiyoda Corporation and JGC Corporation, the local/SingaporeRotary Arabia, India’s Dayim Punj Lloyd, China’s Sinopec, Egypt’sEnppi, France’s Technip, and Taiwan’s CTCI.

Saudi firm Dar al-Riyadh is the design contractor on the project.

The winning construction contractor will build tanks, petrol and diesel-loading pumps, as well as substations, and carry out civil engineering and structural work.

In October, Aramco awarded a $200m contract to MS Al-Suwaidi to upgrade 14 existing bulk storage plants.

The lump sum procure-and-build contract covers four plants in the northwest of the kingdom, Duba, Jouf, Tabuk and Turaif, and five in the southwest, Abha, Rabigh, Jizan, North Jeddah and Yanbu. The contract also covers the Qatif and Hasa bulk plants in the Eastern Province and the Qasim, North Riyadh and Sulayyil plants in the central region.