The Saudi Acrylic Monomer Company (Samco) has awarded Germany’s Linde and South Korea’s Samsung Engineering the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the first phase of a $1.5bn petrochemicals complex at Jubail in Saudi Arabia.

In a statement on the Saudi Bourse, Samco says a contract has been signed that will see the consortium build a new 160,000 tonne-a-year (t/y) acrylic acid production unit and a 160,000 t/y butyl acrylate plant.

“This deal has been in place for some time now, but everyone has just been waiting for the contracts to be exchanged and work to begin,” says a source familiar with the project. “Samsung has already mobilised and is ready to start work almost immediately. I think work will start on the project before the end of October.”

MEED reported in August that the consortium was close to agreeing a deal to build the facility (MEED 19:8:10).

The source adds that despite the announcement of the award coming later than planned, the completion dates for both units remain the same. The acrylic acid unit is still scheduled for the second half of 2012 with the butyl acetate plant by the fourth quarter of the same year.

Saudi National Industrialisation Company (Tasnee) holds a 75 per cent stake in Samco, while the US’ Dow Chemical inherited the remaining 25 per cent share when it bought US speciality chemicals maker Rohm & Haas in 2009.

Feedstock for the acrylic acid plant will be provided from Tasnee in the form of 110,000 t/y of propylene. A planned glacial acrylic acid plant will provide the feedstock for the butyl acetate plant.