“Osos Petrochemicals confirms that it had mutually agreed to end talks with Sabic,” says the company in a statement. “The project is in commercial phase with EPC [engineering, procurement and construction] contractors and expects to award the contract before the end of the third quarter of 2008.”

Sabic said in January it was considering taking a 35 per cent stake in the project, but subsequently decided to opt out (MEED 11:4:08).

Bids are under evaluation for the main engineering, procurement and construction contract to build the main process units at the complex, which will produce 60,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of PBT, 50,000 t/y of butanediol, 3,500 t/y of tetrahydrofuran, and 85,000 t/y of maleic anhydride acid.

Four groups are bidding for the contract. They are Oslo-based Aker Kvaerner with China’s Sinopec, and South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction, Samsung Engineering Company and Hanwha Engineering & Construction, with the latter understood to be low bidder.