Potential developers have until 30 October to submit prequalifications for the captive independent water, steam and power project (IWSPP) on the proposed $4,300 million integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex at Rabigh (MEED 18:6:04).

The request for qualification (RFQ) document describes the carving out of a 400-MW IWSPP and the timetable set for integration with the schedule for the construction of the new refinery. The fast-tracked process envisages proposals being submitted by year-end.

‘Developers will be encouraged to look at how the Tihama IPPs were done – which were very effective,’ says an industry source. ‘But there are important questions over risk allocation. Building power stations on the basis of a straightforward offtake from existing Saudi Aramcofacilities is very different from building them for a refinery that is still on the drawing board.’

Saudi Aramco and Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical Company are joint sponsors of the project, which will see a high olefins-yield fluid catalytic cracker (FCC) complex commissioned and integrated with an ethane-based cracker, producing about 1.3 million tonnes a year (t/y) of ethylene, 900,000 t/y of propylene and 80,000 barrels a day of gasoline and other refined products. Sumitomo-Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) is acting as the financial adviser on the project.

The financing for the project is also being fast-tracked – financial close is slated for the second half of 2005 – and is likely to include a substantial tranche from the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC).