Saudi Acrylic Monomer Company will not award the construction contract for the first phase of its new $1.5bn acrylics complex at Jubail until after Ramadan.

In June, company officials said that they hoped to finalise the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deal, which covers a new 160,000 tonne a year (t/y) acrylic acid production unit and a 160,000 t/y butyl acrylate plant, by September (MEED 9:6:10).

Sources close to the project say that a consortium of South Korea’s Samsung Engineering and Germany’s Linde is the only bidder still in contention for the deal, but that talks have overrun, with talks over the final contract likely to run over until after Ramadan, in mid-September.

“Let’s just say that the contract is not yet signed, but that it is very close,” says one executive with close ties to the deal.

The acrylic acid unit is scheduled for completion by the second half of 2012 while the company wants to complete the butyl acetate plant by the fourth quarter of the same year.

Saudi National Industrialisation Company (Tasnee) holds a 75 per cent stake in Samco, while the US’ Dow Chemical inherited the remaining 25 per cent share when it bought US speciality chemicals maker Rohm & Haas in 2009.

A new butanol plant is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2013 and a super absorbant polymer plant is also planned for the site.

The acrylic acid plant will be fed by 110,000 tonnes a year of propylene from Tasnee’s existing petrochemicals cracker at Jubail. It will in turn provide feedstock for the butyl acetate plant and a planned glacial acrylic acid plant.