Final bids in for Jubail plastics deal

20 December 2009

Taiwanese and South Korean firms both submit bids on 19 December

Taiwan’s China Technical Consultants Incorporated (CTCI) and South Korea’s Daelim Corporation have both submitted new prices for the estimated $300m deal to build a plastics plant in Saudi Arabia.

The firms submitted their prices to local petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) on 19 December according to senior sources at both companies. Both sources say that Sabic wants to award the deal before the end of December.

“We are just waiting for notification from Sabic in the next two weeks,” says one executive.

The winning bidder will build a 300,000 tonne-a-year (t/y) low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant at petrochemicals maker Saudi Kayan’s Jubail production complex on the country’s east coast. Sabic, which holds a 35 per cent stake in Kayan, is running the project.

CTCI and Daelim originally submitted prices for the deal in September along with South Korea’s Samsung Engineering. However, the prices on offer were well over the budget set by Sabic, and the firms were asked to revise their bids after a round of direct negotiations. Samsung decided not to take part in the December bid round.

The deal to build the LDPE unit has had a troubled history. In March 2007, the UK’s Simon Carves won a deal to build the plant. It has completed engineering design work and most of the procurement on the scheme, according to a senior source close to the developmenty. Sabic and Kayan stripped the firm of the contract and retendered the deal in the first quarter of 2009 after a dispute with the firm.

The local Al-Kayan Petrochemical holds a 20 per cent stake in Saudi Kayan and the remaining 45 per cent stake is held publicly. Construction on the LDPE plant is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2010.

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