The local Idea Polysilicon Company (IPC) has received bids for the technology and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for its proposed polysilicon and solar wafer plant at Yanbu on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast.

The bids are now being evaluated and a decision is expected to be made in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Four contractors are bidding for the scheme and each has formed a consortium with a technology provider that will provide the plant machinery. The EPC contractor will still be responsible for delivering the finished facility on a lump-sum turnkey basis.

The bidding companies and their respective technology partners are:

  • Chengda Engineering Corporation/Poly Plant Project (China/US)
  • Hanwha Engineering & Construction/Centrotherm (South Korea/Netherlands)
  • M+W/Schmid Silicon Technology (Germany/Germany)
  • Samsung Engineering/GT Advanced Technologies (South Korea/US)

When completed, the plant will produce 10,000 tonnes a year (t/y), of which 4,000 t/y will be converted into solar wafers. The plant will create about 1,000 jobs.

The project is being supported by Riyadh as polysilicon and solar wafer production has been identified as one of the core industrial sectors it wants to promote in the kingdom. The production of high-value products is a key driver of Saudi Arabia’s industrial diversification plan.

MEED reported in November 2012 that IPC had awarded France’s Technip the project management and engineering services contract for the scheme. The work will be carried out from Technip’s UK office.

IPC is based in Al-Khobar in the eastern province of the kingdom and comprises a consortium of businessmen from the GCC region. Marwan al-Ghurair, from the UAE’s Abdulla al-Ghurair Group, is a board member of the company.