The estimated $2,500 million expansion involves the construction of a 1.3 million-tonne-a-year (t/y) ethane/propane cracker, for which the UK’s Stone & Webster, part of US-based Shaw International, was issued an LoI in late July. An LoI was also issued to Germany’s Linde for the EPC package covering the linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) units, which will each have capacity of 400,000 t/y.

South Korea’s Samsung Engineering Company also received a notice of award to carry out the EPC contract covering the 600,000-t/y ethylene glycol (EG) unit. The US’ Chicago Bridge & Iron (CB&I) is carrying out works to build eight storage tanks and related facilities for the expansion, which is due to be completed in the first quarter of 2008. Foster Wheeler is the project manager and front-end engineering and design (FEED) contractor for all units except the cracker.

Sharq is a 50:50 joint venture of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) and a group of Japanese companies led by Mitsubishi Corporation.