The Saudi Aramco Lubricating Oil Refining Company (Luberef) has extended the bid deadline for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for its $1bn expansion to 1 September.

The original deadline for the project had been set at 30 June, but has been extended due to the bidders asking for more time to formulate submissions.

“All of the shortlisted contractors have to work with a technology company, and licencing the technology is taking more time than what was initially thought,” says a contracting source based in Saudi Arabia. “Many actually asked for three months, but Luberef has only agreed to a two-month extension.”

The remaining bidders on the project are:

The companies who now will not be participating include:

  • Chiyoda (Japan)
  • CTCI (Taiwan)
  • SK Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Techint (Italy)
  • Technip (France)
  • Tecnimont (Italy)
  • SNC Lavalin (Canada)

The project is being tendered as one lump-sum turnkey (LSTK) contract, which will be a combination of grassroots construction and brownfield rehabilitation. The exact scope was previously unknown, but documents seen by MEED indicate it will involve the construction of a 23,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) lube hydrocracker and catalytic ISO-dewaxing complex, which will include hydrogen manufacturing, sour gas absorption, sulphur recovery and prilling units. 

Luberef also plans to increasing the vacuum distillation unit (VDU) capacity to 40,000 b/d from 26,000 b/d and increasing the propane deasphalting from 6,500 b/d to 12,500 b/d as well as increase the asphalt capacity to 12,000 b/d. 

Other upgrades will include modifying existing pipework and building a new cooling water system complete with cooling towers.

Luberef is a 70:30 joint venture of Saudi Aramco and the local Jadwa Investment.