The estimated $100 million project will entail the upgrade of an existing continuous catalytic reformer and the addition of a new isomerisation unit. The schedule for the plant is still not clear, but contractors say they expect an award to be made by the end of the year.

Aramco is concentrating on refinery work this year after awarding contracts for the construction of a major new oil and gas facility at Qatif in February. It has also awarded contracts for the installation of new sulphur recovery capacity at Riyadh refinery and is understood to be looking at new work at Rabigh. Yanbu refinery has a capacity of 225,000 barrels a day.