Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) and Japan’s Mitsubishi Rayon Company (MRC) have issued the tender for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for two new petrochemicals plants worth about $500m in Saudi Arabia.

The two plants will produce methyl methacrylate (MMA) and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), and will be built at Jubail in the Eastern Province.

“The tender is out now and the technical and commercial bids are being formulated by contractors now,” says a petrochemicals source based in Saudi Arabia. “It has been a pretty slow year for petrochemicals projects in the kingdom, so [EPC contractors] will be pleased that this one has finally been released.”

The submission date for both technical and commercial bids has been set for the last week of December. A decision is expected by the end of the first quarter in 2014 after full evaluation by Sabic and MRC. 

EPC contractors bidding on the scheme include:

  • CTCI (Taiwan)
  • Daelim Industrial (South Korea)
  • Intecsa Industrial/Dragados Industrial  (Spain)
  • Hanwha Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Technip (France)
  • Tecnicas Reunidas (Spain)

Tecnicas Reunidas was awarded the contract for the front-end engineering and design (feed) contract for the scheme in January 2012. However, discussions over how the technology will be licensed caused an initial delay in the scheme.

The capacity for the MMA facility will be 250,000 tonnes a year (t/y), which will make it the largest of its type in the world. The PMMA plant is smaller in scale and will have a capacity of 40,000 t/y.

MMA and PMMA have several downstream uses, including machinery, electrical components and gears, and both facilities fall in line with Sabic’s move to become a key player in the kingdom’s downstream industries.

Sabic and Lucite International, a subsidiary of MRC, are 50:50 joint venture partners on the project.