Saudi Arabia’s Arabian Industrial Fibre Company (Ibn Rushd) has started the bidding process for a $400m contract to build a new plastics plant at its Yanbu petrochemicals complex.

The company, an affiliate of regional petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) sent out a formal invitation to bid on the deal along with key tender documents during the week ended 15 April.

It has tentatively set a late June deadline for technical and commercial bids on the project, and expects to award the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract by the end of September.

Companies prequalified to bid on the deal include Germany’s Uhde, which is working on front end engineering and design (Feed) studies for the plant, South Korea’s Samsung Engineering, and Italy’s Tecnimont, sources close to the project tell MEED.

The winning bidder will build a 350,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) purified terepthalic acid (PTA) plant, which will act as an expansion of an existing 350,000 t/y production unit at Ibn Rushd’s Yanbu complex.

The project is part of a wider scheme to boost production of polyethylene terepthalate (PET) at the plant. PET is a plastic used in plastic bottles. Ibn Rushd sells it in a resin form, and is in the process of increasing the capacity of an existing unit.