• Technip set to sign deal
  • Complex will be located at Yanbu
  • Main contract tenders expected for early 2016

The local Farabi Petrochemicals Company is set to award France’s Technip the front-end engineering and design (feed) and the project management consultancy (PMC) contract for its planned $1bn-plus petrochemicals plant in Saudi Arabia.

Technip won the deal ahead of the US’ KBR and the UK’s Amec Foster Wheeler.

“Technip is in a very good position and should sign a contract for the deal very shortly,” says a Saudi Arabia-based petrochemicals executive. “Their bid was very competitive and they should start work on the project by the end of May.”

The feed should take about seven months to complete, which means engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) tenders should be released in early 2016.

MEED reported in September 2014, that Farabi had decided to move the project from the initial site at Jizan Economic City next to the proposed Jizan refinery to the Red Sea industrial hub of Yanbu.

Amec Foster Wheeler carried out the study for the scheme and this has now been completed. The study included the selection of technology for the production of low aromatics solvent and the treatment of heavy fuel oil as well as formulating a cost estimate.

The scope of work includes developing an overall concept for the scheme, which will produce linear alkyl benzenes from diesel feedstock. About 24 grades of surfactant allied business chemicals, including detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents and dispersants are planned to be manufactured.

There are several options for feedstock in Yanbu, including two 400,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) refineries owned in joint ventures by Aramco. These are Saudi Aramco Mobil Refinery Company, which Aramco operates with the US’ ExxonMobil, and Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company, which is just about to start commissioning and is operated with China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec).

Farabi already operates a large-scale plant producing linear alkyl benzenes at Jubail in the Eastern Province of the kingdom. The company was unavailable for comment when contacted by MEED.

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