Saudi European Petrochemical Company (Ibn Zahr) has released solicitation of interest (SoI) documents for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build a new polypropylene (PP) plant at its existing Jubail complex (MEED 1:7:05).

Contractors have been asked to express their interest in the project by the end of August. No details have been given on the anticipated timing of the release of invitation to bid (ITB) documents, although the original schedule envisaged the tender being issued in October. Companies such as South Korea’s Samsung Engineering Company, Italy’s Snamprogetti, Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidasand Italy’s Tecnimontare among those likely to be interested in the project.

Oslo-based Aker Kvaerner has the contract to provide project management consultancy (PMC) services on the estimated $800 million, 450,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) PP project.

Ibn Zahr’s PP unit was originally planned to be fed with propylene from a new 450,000-t/y propane dehydrogenation (PDH) facility, which in turn was to receive propane feedstock from Saudi Aramco. However, an agreement with Aramco has still to be concluded, which has prevented Ibn Zahr from selecting a technology provider for the PDH unit: US-based ABB Lummus Globaland UOPof the US are competing for the PDH package. The US’ Dow Chemical Companyhas already been selected to provide PP technology (MEED 18:2:05).

Ibn Zahr, which is 70 per cent owned by Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), is understood to be mulling alternative feedstock options. These include using olefins conversion technology (OCT) to produce propylene instead of PDH technology, or piping in propylene from other Sabic plants in the vicinity, such as Eastern Petrochemical Company (Sharq).