Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) has changed the technical specifications for the major fertilisers package at its proposed $7bn phosphates mining city at Waad al-Shamal in the north of the kingdom.

MEED reported in June that contractors had submitted bids for the package, which includes process plants that will produce diammonium phosphate (DAP) and nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) fertilisers. 

After technical clarifications, there has been some changes made to the specifications and Maaden has now informed engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors bidding for the package to resubmit commercial bids on 26 July.

“[Maaden] has made a few changes and this has obviously affected the commercial bids,” says a contracting source familiar with the scheme. “This is something that happens often on this type of large project so, while it will probably push the award back by a few weeks, it is something both the client and contractors are used to.”

The firms bidding for the package are:

  • Daewoo Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • GS E&C (South Korea)
  • Hanwha E&C (South Korea)
  • Hyundai E&C  (South Korea)
  • Intecsa (Spain)
  • KBR/STX Heavy Industries (US/South Korea)
  • Samsung Engineering (South Korea)
  • SNC Lavalin (Canada)
  • Uhde (Germany)

Many of the original packages have now been split into their composite parts and offered as single tenders. The submission dates for the packages have also been spread across the summer to allow for proper evaluation periods.

MEED reported in July that South Korea’s Daelim Industrial had been awarded the ammonia plant in a deal worth $825m.

The other packages and their respective bid submission deadlines are:

  • Beneficiation: 1 August
  • Phosphoric acid: 8 August
  • Sodium tripolyphosphate, purifying phosphoric acid and dicalcium phosphate: 6 September
  • Utilities and offsites and infrastructure: 14 September

The mining city is being built so Maaden can fully utilise the phosphates from its Al-Khabra mine. The scope of works for the city will include a mining component, as well as eight different processing plants and a utilities and offsites package. The phosphate produced at Al-Khabra is low in heavy metal content and is ideal for use in food production, as well as fertiliser and animal feed. The measured reserves of the Al-Khabra deposit are estimated to be 236 million tonnes.

In March, Maaden announced it was joining forces with the US’ Mosaic and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) to build the phosphates city. Maaden will retain a 60 per cent stake, with Mosaic and Sabic taking a 25 per cent and 15 per cent stake respectively.