Sources close to the project tell MEED the joint venture of state-run energy company Saudi Aramco and US oil major ConocoPhillips has issued 11 tenders on the scheme worth nearly $3bn in total.

The tenders follow six packages announced in the third week of June worth a total of $7bn.

The largest package in the latest round is an offsites and utilities deal worth $1.5bn.

Firms bidding for the award include Daelim Industrial Company, SK Engineering & Construction, GS Engineering & Construction, all South Korean; Egypt’s Enppi; Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company; Italy’s Saipem; the UK’s Petrofac; Spain’s TR; Foster Wheeler and CBI Lummus of the US; Taiwan’s CTCI and Argentina’s Techint.

Of the 11 tenders, four are speciality packages, covering a nitrogen unit, offsite pipelines, electrical work and interconnection work.

Companies prequalified for the pipelines package include local firms Al-Robaya Contracting, Bin Quraya Establishment, Faysal M Qahtani Establishment, Gulf Consolidated Contractors and Metal Services for Trading & Contracting Company; Lebanon’s CAT; Italy’s Saipem; Netherlands-based Suedro-hrbau and Turkey’s Tekfen.

Aramco and Conoco have tendered six further management contracts covering site development, pipeline works and relocation services.

The six packages tendered in June were for a $1.2bn coker unit, a $970m crude facility, a $2.3bn gasoline unit, a $1.2bn hydro-cracker, a $900m tank farm, and a $450m solids handling facility.

Bids for all the Yanbu packages are due by 31 January 2010.

In the first week of August, Aramco and Conoco awarded an additional package for utilities to US contractor KBR without a formal tendering process.

KBR is already carrying out a combined front-end engineering and design and programme management services deal for the complex (MEED 6:8:09).

Contractors estimate that the cost of building the refinery has climbed to $10bn, up from $6bn in 2006.