The shareholding structure is expected to be officially announced in September. It is understood that the local Al-Babtain Group, Oman Oil Companyand Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investments Companyare among the prospective shareholders. Other investors will include a major international bank and international offtake companies, which have now committed to purchase almost 100 per cent of the plant’s PP output.

US-based ABB Lummus Global, which has the project management consultancy (PMC) contract on the project and has licensing agreements for the plant’s technology, has also agreed to take an equity stake in the scheme.

The plant’s equity portion will be about SR 750 million ($200 million), with Gulf International Bank (GIB) acting as the equity arranger. GIB is also working on arranging the commercial debt facility for the project, worth about SR 1,100 million ($293 million). Additional financing worth SR 400 million ($107 million) will come from a Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) facility, which is scheduled to be disbursed in October or November.

ABB Lummus with the support of South Korea’s Samsung Engineering Corporationis due to complete basic engineering works on the project in the first quarter of 2005. Samsung has now committed to carry out the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract under an agreed price and duration.