Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) and the US’ ExxonMobil Corporation have delayed the bid deadline to build a tank farm for a new rubber plant at Jubail.

Sabic and Exxon’s joint venture, Al-Jubail Petrochemical Company (Kemya), has set a new deadline for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bids of 15 December. This is three weeks later than the original 27 November deadline.

An Al-Khobar-based executive close to the project says the three companies expected to bid for the tank farm package are the local/Singapore joint venture Petro Steel, the US’ CB&I and the local Yanbu Steel Company.

Contractors will be invited to bid in January for the two other EPC packages at the site, which cover a methyl tertiary butyl ether plant and a halobutyl rubber plant.

The complex will have production capacity of 400,000 tonnes-a-year (t/y) of carbon black, rubber and speciality polymers to serve the tyre industry in the kingdom. A final investment decision will be made by Kemya in 2010. If it goes ahead, the plant should be completed by the end of 2013.

The US’ Fluor Corporation carried out the combined front-end engineering and design (Feed) and project management contract for the rubber plant.

In 2006, Sabic said the Kemya project would use feedstock allocated by the Petroleum & Mineral Resources Ministry, as well as feedstock from other local sources.