PetroRabigh, the joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical, has now released the tenders for seven packages for its proposed $5bn phase II expansion plan.

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) packages have been released despite banking sources telling MEED that the feasibility study needs to be reconfigured and that financial close is not now expected until early 2013 (MEED 13:5:11).

“The tenders [for PetroRabigh] are being released pretty much on schedule,” says a contracting source based in Saudi Arabia. “Whether the awards are made and the work begins on site on time is still unclear.”

Both commercial and technical bids for the seven packages are due to be submitted in October.

If the project has not reached financial close, then work cannot start onsite. If the scheme is delayed due to financial issues then one solution could be that the contracts are awarded on an engineering only basis, with the full award being made to the same contractor at a later date.   

Japan’s JGC Corporation is carrying out the front-end engineering and design on the project.

The packages released for PetroRabigh phase II are:

  • Aromatics
  • Caprolactam
  • Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA)
  • Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
  • Methyl Methacrylate (MMA)
  • Nylon
  • Phenol

“This is a diverse chemicals mix and is line with the kingdoms aims to diversify its industrial base,” says the source. “Hopefully [the kingdom] will attract the right kind of investment and the contractors will come.”

Many of the prequalified contractors for the PetroRabigh phase II are similar to the $18bn Aramco Dow complex currently being tendered in Jubail in the Eastern Province.

The contractors bidding on the scheme include:

  • Daelim Industrial (South Korea)
  • GS Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Hyundai Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Samsung Engineering (South Korea)
  • SK Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Technip (France)
  • Tecnicas Reunidas (Spain)

Aramco and Sumitomo plan to process an additional 30 million cubic feet a year of ethane and 3 million tonnes a year of naphtha after the expansion, which will provide the feedstock for chemical production.