The Sharq expansion scheme covers the construction of a 1.5 million-tonne a year (t/y) mixed ethane/propane cracker, a 600,000-t/y ethylene glycol (EG) plant and an 800,000-t/y polyethylene (PE) unit. In addition to proving PMC services, Foster Wheeler will carry out front-end engineering design (FEED) for all units except for the cracker, which will be handled by the winner of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC)-plus-ethylene technology contract, to be tendered before the end of the year.

It is understood that Sabic awarded the Sharq PMC contract to Foster Wheeler on the grounds that this would reduce cost by achieving synergies with the firm’s other recent PMC award covering the grassroots olefins complex at Yanbu – a scaled-up version of Sabic’s Jubail United Petrochemical Company (United)complex.

The Sharq expansion is due for completion in 2008. The company is a 50:50 joint venture between Sabic and a group of Japanese companies led by Mitsubishi Corporation, has scheduled project completion for 2008 (MEED 6:8:04).