South Korea’s Daelim Industrial and GS Engineering & Construction (GS E&C) have been confirmed as the lowest bidders for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the mixed-feed cracker package at its planned $18bn Aramco Dow petrochemical complex in Saudi Arabia.

Daelim is the lowest bidder for the package and has bid about 3-4 per cent lower than GS E&C. Officials from Saudi Aramco and the US’ Dow Chemical are now expected to travel to Seoul to examine both bids before making a decision.

Project status
Project Budget Status
Aramco Dow $18bn  Tendering EPC
Petro Rabigh phase II $5bn EPC tenders released (delays expected)
Elastomers Project $2bn Prequalifying EPC
Alpha 2  $1bn Tendering feed
Qafco 5 $500m Tendering EPC
EPC=Engineering, procurement and construction; feed=Front-end engineering and design. Source: MEED

“It is down to Daelim and GS [E&C] now,” says a source familiar with the project. ”Whoever wins will have to work alongside [France’s] Technip, which is on board as the technology provider, but this is not expected to be a problem with either company.”

The source adds that until officials have examined both bids it is it is too close to call at this point.  

The exact price of each bid is not known and neither Daelim nor GS E&C were available for comment when contacted by MEED. It is estimated to be less than $1bn.

The type of cracker that will be used at Aramco Dow has been the source of much speculation. Now it is clear a mixed-feed cracker using ethane and naphtha will be built that will produce 1.2 million tonnes a year (t/y) of ethylene and 400,000 t/y of propylene (MEED 29:4:11).

MEED reported in May that South Korean EPC contractors had identified the Aramco Dow scheme as a key project and would be bidding aggressively for the packages available (MEED 6:5:11).

The mixed-feed cracker is expected to be the first of about 30 separate packages to be awarded. Aramco and Dow are 50:50 joint venture partners on the project. A final investment decision on the project is due in July.