Saudi Arabia’s Farabi Petrochemicals Company has invited companies to submit bids for the deal to build a chemicals plant in Yanbu by 28 July, according to sources familiar with the project.

The company is planning to construct a $1bn-plus linear alkyl benzene (LAB) plant and units to produce specialty chemicals using diesel feedstock.

Farabi Petrochemicals completed prequalifying firms for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) tender in the fourth quarter of 2015. The prequalified companies are understood to include:

  • CTCI (Taiwan)
  • GS Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Hanwha Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Intecsa (Spain) / Dragados (Spain)
  • Petrofac (UK)
  • Saipem (Itay)
  • Tecnicas Reunidas (Spain)

About 24 grades of surfactant allied business chemicals, including detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents and dispersants, are planned to be manufactured at the facility.

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

The UK’s Amec Foster Wheeler carried out the study for the scheme, and this 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.

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’s Sinopec.

Farabi Petrochemicals already operates a large-scale plant producing linear alkyl benzenes at Jubail in the Eastern Province of the kingdom.

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