Saudi Arabia’s Arabian Industrial Fibre Company (Ibn Rushd) hopes to award the contract to build a new petrochemicals plant at its Yanbu production complex before the end of the year despite having had to push deadlines for bids back by as much as two months.

The company, an affiliate of regional petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) has set a 27 August deadline for technical bids and an 18 September cut-off date for commercial proposals on the deal, sources close to the scheme say.

 This timeline marks a significant departure from the original tender schedule, which would have seen prequalified contractors submitting bids in late June.

“All of the contractors asked for big extensions, so they didn’t have much choice,” says an engineering executive at one firm interested in the deal.

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

Companies prequalified to bid on the contract include:

  • CTCI Corporation (Taiwan)
  • Daelim (South Korea)
  • GS Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Hyundai Engineering (South Korea)
  • Samsung Engineering (South Korea)
  • China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (China)
  • SK Engineering  & Construction (South Korea)

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.