KBR beat off competition from US-based Bechtel to win the Yanbu award. For Jubail 2, the only other bidder was Foster Wheeler, also US-based. Among the first tasks of KBR and Technip will be to carry out detailed feasibility studies and recommend the contracting strategies for the two refineries. The FEED packages are each expected to take about six months (MEED 26:5:06).

The grassroots refineries will each have nameplate capacity of 400,000 barrels a day (b/d) and will involve the installation of naphtha hydrotreaters and splitters, catalytic reformers, isomerisation units and related facilities. The facilities are targeted to be completed in 2011.

Under memorandums of understanding signed by Aramco in late May, the US’ ConocoPhillips will be the foreign partner on the Yanbu project and France’s Total on the Jubail 2 scheme. The refineries, costing $6,000 million each, will be designed to process Arabian Heavy crude, which will be sourced primarily from the offshore Manifa field in the Eastern Province.