Nine international engineering companies are preparing to bid on Saudi Aramco’s Uthmaniyah ethanol feed recovery project, according to sources familiar with the scheme.

The project, estimated to be valued at $800m-$900m, will involve the recovery of ethane, propane and natural gas liquids (NGLs) from sales gas at the plant site in the east of the kingdom.

In March, the state-owned oil and gas group invited firms to submit engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bids for the scheme. The companies prequalified to bid are:

The bid deadline is set for 31 May, but some sources expect this to be extended to give contractors more time to prepare offers.

The Uthmaniyah gas plant processes associated gas produced from the Ghawar field – the largest-producing oil field in Saudi Arabia and the largest known field in the world based on reserves.

Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said in early March that the kingdom’s gas network now produces 12 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d) and there are plans to increase this to 23 billion cf/d.

Aramco projects at the Fadhili, Midyan and Wasit fields are set to add more than 5 billion cf/d of non-associated gas processing capacity.