Saudi Arabia’s Rabigh Refining & Petrochemical Company (PetroRabigh) has awarded a construction contract to Italy’s Saipem for the second-phase expansion project at the Rabigh petrochemicals plant.

The 30-month deal to expand PetroRabigh’s chemicals complex is worth SR782m ($208.5m). It includes a plant to process and recover vanadium and a unit to dispose of caustic soda, according to the company.

The contract also includes other facilities to handle and store chemicals, the company said in a statement to the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), where its shares are traded.

PetroRabigh, a joint venture between the world’s biggest oil exporter, Saudi Aramco, and Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical, raised $5.2bn to support the second-phase expansion project. Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and the local Sabb were the financial advisers on the transaction. The total project cost is estimated at about $8.1bn.

The project involves PetroRabigh expanding its ethane cracker and building a new aromatics complex that will enable it to process 30 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of ethane and about 3 million tonnes a year (t/y) of naphtha as a major feedstock to produce chemicals.

The company, however, has cancelled two of the three packages of its planned Clean Fuels Project, sources familiar with the scheme told MEED last month.

PetroRabigh tendered three engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) packages in October 2015 and received bids from international companies in February.

The two packages cancelled are:

  • Polyols production unit – capacity of 220,000 t/y of polyether polyols
  • Sulphur recovery unit – capacity of 106,000 t/y of sulphur

PetroRabigh is still assessing bids on a third package to build a naphtha processing unit with the capacity to produce 17,000 barrels a day (b/d) of clean fuels.

Italy-based Tecnimont has submitted the low bid for this package, according to a source. Other bidders are thought to include Taiwan-based CTCI, South Korea’s Daelim, Spain’s Intecsa Industrial and Tecnicas Reunidas, and India-based Larsen & Toubro.

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