Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) is pressing ahead with its planned $2,000 million phosphate and fertiliser complex at Ras al-Zour, having received bids for one plant construction package and released invitations to bid for two more packages.

Three teams of local and international companies are understood to have submitted commercial and technical offers on 14 December for the sulphuric acid plant. They are: SaudiOger, with the UK’s SimonCarves and Turkey’s Tekfen; a Finnish/South African joint venture of Outokumpu and E+PC, Engineering & Projects Company, part of Grinaker-LTA; and Canada’s Chemetics, a division of Oslo-based AkerKvaerner.

The scope of works for the estimated $450 million-500 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract covers the construction of two sulphuric acid trains with combined capacity of 450,000 tonnes a year (t/y) as well as absorption towers and a cooling system. An award is expected some time in 2006 (MEED 7:10:05).

At least four companies and groups have been invited to bid by 4 March for the estimated $200 million-300 million contract to build the 2.9 million-t/y diammonium phosphate (DAP) plant, the technology for which will be supplied by Spain’s INCRO. The bidders include: a group comprising the Japanese/Thai Toyo-Thai Corporation, with Japan’s Sojitz, and SaudiOger; Japan’s Mitusi Engineering & Shipbuilding Company (MESC); Spain’s Dragados; and the US’ Koch.

At least five companies and groups have been prequalified to bid by 18 February for the estimated $200 million-300 million contract to build the 140,000-t/y phosphoric acid plant, for which the Norway’s Yara is the technology provider. Bidders include the Toyo-Thai, Sojitz and Oger joint venture; MESC; East China Engineering Science & Technology Company; France-based AMEC Paragon Litwin; and South Africa’s Bateman.

The DAP and phosphoric acid plant contracts will initially be awarded on a cost-reimbursable basis and converted into lump-sum turnkey (LSTK) once most of the detailed design is complete.

Bids are due to be submitted on 31 January for the final plant package, covering the construction of the 2,000-tonne-a-day ammonia plant. Five companies and groups are understood to be preparing offers (MEED 14:10:05).

An award is imminent on the project management consultancy (PMC) contract on the complex (MEED 5:8:05).