The PMC contractor – to be appointed in September – will follow up on preliminary works carried out by US-based Foster Wheeler, which has so far acted as PMD’s technical adviser. Foster Wheeler is expected to be among the bidders for the PMC job, in addition to other US-based companies such as Fluor Daniel, Jacobs Engineeringand Parsons Corporation.

The appointment of the PMC contractor will coincide with the selection of a joint venture partner, according to Majed al-Ahmadi, PMD’s president and chief executive officer. ‘A selection of a joint venture partner will be made in September or October,’ Al-Ahmadi told MEED on 13 July. ‘We will team up with one company.’

The joint venture partner is expected to take a major equity stake in the project firm, which will be a closed joint-stock company. It is not clear whether initial plans for the joint venture partner to put up 50 per cent of the equity will remain unchanged. Equity will make up 30 per cent of the project’s financing, with debt composing the remaining 70 per cent. Arab Banking Corporation (ABC) is acting as financial adviser to PMD. The joint venture partner will also act as offtaker for the bulk of the product and assist in operation and maintenance.

The completion of financing arrangements will be followed by the end of the year by the release of tender documents for the ethylene technology and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) packages for the 1.35 million-tonne a year (t/y) cracker.

The process plants packages will be tendered in 2005. The units include a 970,000-t/y polyethylene plant, a polypropylene plant with capacity of at least 500,000 t/y and a 530,000-t/y ethylene oxide unit for the production of ethylene glycol, ethanolamine, methylamine and derivatives and ethoxylates. The PMD complex is due to come on stream in 2008.

Audit firm Ernst & Young, which was appointed as economic consultant by PMD, has completed its prefeasibility study on the project, giving the project the green light to go ahead. PMD’s legal adviser, Clifford Chance, is working on the project’s ownership structure. US-based CMAIhas drawn up a marketing strategy and will continue working with PMD.