Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) has given international contractors until 2 November to submit tenders for its planned acrylonitrile plant at Jubail in the Eastern Province of the kingdom.

Three engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors are looking to win the deal to build the facility, which has a budget between $500m-$1bn.

The three contractors are:

“It’s unusual for such a large project to only have three contractors bidding, but that is where the market is going [in Saudi Arabia] at the moment,” says a petrochemicals source based in the GCC. “Contractors are choosing projects carefully.”

Sabic is developing the scheme with its joint venture Technology Partners Japan’s Mitsubishi and Asahi Kasei. Daelim Industrial has carried out the front-end engineering and design (feed) phase of the project.

The scope of work includes the construction of a 200,000 tonne-a-year (t/y) acrylonitrile plant alongside a 40,000-t/y sodium cyanide facility and utilities and offsites.

Acrylonitrile is used as a binding agent to form products such as synthetic rubbers and polyamides. Sodium cyanide is a product used primarily in gold mining, as well as to extract other precious metals.

Sabic is planning several smaller-scale plants that will be used to feed conversion industries in the kingdom. They will cater to specialist parks aimed at furthering job creation. The state-owned firm and its Japanese joint venture partner Mitsubishi Rayon awarded Taiwan’s CTCI the contract to build two new petrochemicals plants worth about $500m in Saudi Arabia.

The complex is similar in scope to the acrylonitrile plant and will include the construction of methyl methacrylate (MMA) and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) facilities at Jubail.

The capacity for the MMA facility will be 250,000 t/y, which will make it the largest of its type in the world. The smaller PMMA plant will have a capacity of 40,000 t/y.