Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) and the US’ ExxonMobil Chemical have awarded the first engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract on their $2bn Elastomers joint venture to South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction.

The package is relatively small and will cover the construction of the methyl propanediol (MPD) package. The deal is worth about $100m.

“GS [E&C] have won this one, but I think they are a little reluctant to take on this package without securing one of the larger technical packages as well,” says a contracting source based in Al-Khobar. “The bigger packages have yet to be awarded.”

The three major packages for the project and the estimated values are:

  • Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM)/polybutadiene rubber (PBR) facilities – $800m
  • Halobutyls rubber plant – $600m
  • Offsites and utilities – $600m

As well as GS E&C, the companies prequalified to bid for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the two technical packages include:

  • CTCI Corporation (Taiwan)
  • Daelim Industrial Company (South Korea)
  • Hyundai Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Samsung Engineering (South Korea)
  • Technip (France)

When completed, the elastomer project will produce about 400,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of carbon black, rubber and thermoplastic speciality polymers. The plant will use ExxonMobil technology and the products will be sold on local and international markets (MEED 22:7:11).

Carbon black is derived from heavy petroleum products and is mostly used by the automotive industry to add strength to plastic and rubber products used in car production.

The scheme will be built at the Al-Jubail Petrochemical Company (Kemya) complex in the Eastern Province.