Olefins II tendering gathers pace

19 August 2005
Key steps were made in early August in the progress of the Olefins II petrochemicals complex at Shuaiba. Bids were submitted for the ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol (EO/EG) plant package on 8 August, while invitation to bid (ITB) documents were issued a week earlier to prequalified contractors for the contract to revamp and expand the polyethylene (PE) unit. Bids are also due soon for the styrene package.

For the 600,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) EO/EG unit, just two prequalified bidders - the US' Foster Wheelerwith South Korea's Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company, and Spain's TecnicasReunidas- are understood to have submitted bids for the estimated $300 million-400 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) package. An award is expected in the autumn. Construction is scheduled to take about two years.

Six companies were originally invited to bid for the contract when the tender was issued in mid-April. Contractual obligations elsewhere in the region and conflicting technology requirements meant that not all shortlisted firms participated. The unit will be based on proprietary Meteor technology from the US' Dow Chemical Company.

For the EPC contract to revamp and expand the existing PE unit by 300,000 t/y, several international contractors have been invited to bid by late autumn. The original 450,000-t/y unit was built in the late 1990s by Italy's Snamprogetti, which is one of the contractors invited to submit offers for the expansion. Dow's proprietary Unipol technology has been licensed for the expansion. The project company for both the EO/EG and PE packages as well as for the 850,000-t/y ethane cracker - awarded in June to Paris-based Technip- is The Kuwait Olefins Company (TKOC).

Technical and commercial proposals are due to be submitted in late August and early September respectively for the estimated $200 million EPC contract to build the styrene plant. At least five companies are prequalified to bid for the 450,000-t/y unit. An award is expected by year-end. Dow will again license its technology for the plant. The Kuwait Styrene Company (TKSC)is the project company.

The development of the estimated $2,000 million Olefins II complex is being overseen by EquatePetrochemical Company, a joint venture of the local Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC) and Dow. An associated but separate aromatics project is being developed by the Kuwait Aromatics Company (Karo) on the same site. Three international companies and groups will submit revised prices in September after the original offers submitted in April came in considerably above budget (MEED 8:7:05).

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