Proposals have been invited for the various technology packages at the Saudi Yanbu Petrochemical Company (Yanpet) and Al-Jubail Petrochemical Company (Kemya) complexes, with awards expected by the endof 2007.

Once all the technology licences are in place, Sabic and Exxon are expected to tender the two front-end engineering and design contracts, one for each complex, in the first quarter of 2008. Tendering for the engineering, procurement and construction packages is expected later that year.

Exxon and Sabic plan to produce carbon black and rubber and thermoplastic speciality polymers, including ethylene propylene diene monomer, thermoplastic olefin, butyl and synthetic rubber, from Yanpet and Kemya.

An in-house feasibility study has already been completed, although it is understood that the two projects have already suffered from delays overfeedstock allocation issues (MEED 10:11:06).

Separately, the US’ ABB Lummus has won a contract, worth about $40 million, to reduce the environmental impact of benzene production from the Kemya plant.

Under the terms of the two-year engineering, procurement and construction contract, known as the benzene reduction project, ABB Lummus will carry out work on pre- and post-fractionation processes to lower the amount of harmful benzene in the plant’s various by-products.

The technology licences cover a range of downstream chemical production processes, including butadiene extraction, methyl tertiary butyl ether backcracking and styrene-butadiene rubber/polybutadiene rubber.