Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) has extended the bid deadline for the downstream phosphate units at its proposed $7bn phosphates mining city joint venture at Waad al-Shamal in the north of the kingdom.

MEED reported in July that the tender was due to be submitted in early September for the package, but this has now been put back until mid-November.

The downstream phosphate package consists of three separate units. They are:  

  • Sodium tripolyphosphate
  • Purifying phosphoric acid
  • Dicalcium phosphate

“There are a lot of packages being tendered and I believe that both the client and the contractors needed a little more time to deal with the submissions,” says a source familiar with the scheme. “One package has already been awarded and I am sure that more will follow shortly.”

MEED also reported in July that South Korea’s Daelim Industrial had been awarded the ammonia plant in a deal worth $825m. The diammonium phosphate (DAP) and nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) fertiliser package is under evaluation and a decision is expected shortly. The power plant is also under evaluation.

The mining city is being built, so that 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.

Maaden has joined 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.