At least three international engineering companies have submitted bids for an estimated $300m deal to build a new petrochemicals plant in Saudi Arabia.

The bidders are Taiwan’s China Technical Consultants Incorporated (CTCI), South Korea’s Daelim, and Samsung Engineering, also of South Korea.

The firms handed in their bids for the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) deal to the local Saudi Kayan Petrochemicals on 27 September, two executives at bidding firms tell MEED.

The winning bidder will build a 300,000 tonne a year (t/y) low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant at Saudi Kayan’s existing petrochemicals complex at Jubail.

An award date is yet to be set, but contractors expect news by late October or early November.

A contract award would mark the second petrochemicals construction deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars in a month.

Earlier in September, four South Korean firms submitted bids on an estimated $400m scheme to build a 300,000 t/y ethylene dichloride plant and a 250,000 t/y caustic soda plant at Jubail.

The client on this EPC deal is Arabian Chlor Vinyl Company, a 50:50 joint venture of Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) and Sahara Petrochemical Company, which are both based in the kingdom.

This year has been a slow year for petrochemicals projects after several years of rapid growth. Petrochemicals prices and demand fell rapidly in late 2008 and early 2009 as sales of plastics used in consumer products collapsed as a result of the global financial crisis, causing many planned projects to be put on hold.