The US' Fluor Corporation has received a letter of intent for the estimated $500 million contract to build the acetic acid and vinyl acetic monomer (VAM) units at the Jubail acetyls complex planned by Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem). Contract signing is scheduled for early April (MEED 13:1:06).
The scope of works on the three-year contract covers the construction of a 460,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) acetic acid plant, a 50,000-t/y acetic anhydride unit and a 300,000-t/y VAM unit. The US' Eastman Chemical Company carried out the front-end engineering and design (FEED) on the acetic acid/acetic anhydride unit and will provide its in-house co-production technology, in addition to marketing all of the acetic anhydride production. The US' DuPont Company will provide the technology for the VAM facility; the FEED has been carried out by the UK office of US-based Foster Wheeler, which is also the overall project management consultant (PMC).In keeping with the recent trend in the local hydrocarbons and petrochemicals sectors, the contract will be awarded on a cost reimbursible basis and converted into lump-sum turnkey (LSTK) once most of the detailed engineering work is complete.
Carbon monoxide (CO) feedstock for the acetic acid plant will be supplied from a 340,000-t/y CO unit, the contract for which was recently awarded to Germany's Lurgi in a deal worth an estimated $200 million. Saudi Aramco is providing gas feedstock for the CO unit (MEED 17:3:06).