The PMC contract is scheduled to be awarded in the second half of September. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) package will be tendered before the end of the year. India’s TPLhas been appointed technical adviser. Front-end engineering and design (FEED) work for the project was carried out by the US’ Bechtel in 1999, but the project was subsequently put on hold due to unfavourable market conditions.

Under the programme, NAMA plans to build a new plant with capacity to produce 30,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of EPI, 50,000 t/y of chlorine and 45,000 t/y of caustic soda. The new facility will be operated by Hassad Petroleum Company, which is under incorporation.

The bulk of the EPI and caustic soda produced at the facility will feed Nama’s existing Jana complex, the Middle East’s only producer of epoxy resins, which has capacity of 20,000 t/y. The new facility will also provide feedstock for a second Jubail-based Nama subsidiary, Arabian Alkali Company (Soda), which has capacity to convert 50,000 t/y of caustic soda into caustic soda prills and solid. Some product will also be exported

The Hassad plant will require a range of feedstock, including propylene, acetic acid, oxygen and lime, which will be sourced locally from companies such as Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic)and its affiliate National Industrial Gases Company (GAS). Nitrogen and hydrochloride will be provided from Nama’s existing plants.

The project’s debt portion will be financed from a 50 per cent Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) loan and a commercial loan accounting for 20-25 per cent of the project’s debt. Equity will make up the remaining 25-30 per cent. A financial adviser has still to be appointed.

NAMA, a joint stock company, was set up in 1992 with the objective of pursuing industrial projects in the chemical and petrochemicals sector. NAMA is also working on plans to expand its existing Jana and Soda plants.