UK’s Petrofac and Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas have emerged as frontrunners to win contract for Saudi Aramco’s $800-900m Uthmaniyah ethanol feed recovery project, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Saudi Aramco, the world’s top oil exporter received engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bids from contractors before the last week of June, said people familiar with scheme.

The companies prequalified to bid were:

The competition for EPC contract is likely to be closely fought between the British and Spanish firms, however, one source said the bids are still being evaluated and situation is fluid as there could be other companies in the mix.

The project involves the recovery of ethane, propane and natural gas liquids (NGLs) from sales gas at the plant site in the east of the kingdom.

Aramco tendered the EPC contract in March this year. The plant will process associated gas produced from the Ghawar field – the largest-producing oil field in Saudi Arabia and the largest known field in the world based on reserves.

Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said in early March that the kingdom’s gas network now produces 12 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d) and there are plans to increase this to 23 billion cf/d.

Aramco’s projects at the Fadhili, Midyan and Wasit fields are set to add more than 5 billion cf/d of non-associated gas processing capacity.