Three companies submitted bids to Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) and the US’ ExxonMobil Corporation on 15 December to build a tank farm for a new rubber plant at Jubail.

A source close to the project says three firms submitted bids to Sabic and Exxon’s joint venture, Al-Jubail Petrochemical Company (Kemya). Bids were delayed until 15 December from the original 27 November deadline.

The three companies bidding for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) tank farm package were the local/Singapore joint venture Petro Steel, the US’ CB&I and the local Yanbu Steel Company, according to the source.

Contractors will be invited to bid in January 2010 for the two other EPC packages at the site, which cover a methyl tertiary butyl ether plant and a halobutyl rubber plant.

The complex will have production capacity of 400,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of carbon black, rubber and speciality polymers for the tyre industry in the kingdom. A final investment decision will be made by Kemya in 2010. If it goes ahead, the plant should be completed by the end of 2013.

The US’ Fluor Corporation carried out the combined front-end engineering and design (Feed), and project management contract for the rubber plant.

In 2006, Sabic said the Kemya project would use feedstock allocated by the Petroleum & Mineral Resources Ministry, as well as feedstock from other local sources.