The four shortlisted contractors all submitted new prices for the project after their initial bids, submitted last September, showed wide variations (MEED 4:10:02).

An award is not expected until mid-to-late March. Bidders include Germany’s Uhde, Japan’s Toyo Engineering Corporation, Italy’s Snamprogettiwith Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industriesand Halliburton KBRof the US with Japan’s Chiyoda Corporation.

The expansion project involves the addition of new urea and ammonia production lines at the complex, each with capacity of about 1 million tonnes a year (t/y). Safco capacity is currently about 1.2 million t/y of ammonia and 1.5 million t/y of urea.

The Safco expansion is the only major contract now out to bid for any of the subsidiaries of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), which owns 41 per cent of Safco.