Safco extends bid deadline for Jubail urea train

14 May 2008

Saudi Arabian Fertiliser Company (Safco) has extended the technical bid deadline by three weeks to late May for the contract to build a fifth urea train at its Jubail ammonia and urea complex.

Four firms are understood to be considering bidding for the estimated $500m engineering, procurement and construction contract.

They are Chemoprojekt of the Czech Republic, the US’ KBR, Germany’s Uhde and Chiyoda Corporation of Japan. A deadline of early June has been set for the submission of commercial bids with an award made soon after.

The new urea plant will have a capacity of 3,250 tonnes a day and will use technology licensed from Stamicarbon of The Netherlands. The plant will use ammonia, which is produced at the complex and destined for export, as feedstock (MEED 24:2:08).

Safco originally postponed plans for the project in 2007 because of rising costs, according to Ahmed al-Qahtani, general manager of operations and planning at the fertiliser strategic business unit of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), Safco's main shareholder (MEED 7:12:08).

However, the rising price of urea fertiliser on the international market made going ahead with the urea train more attractive.

Safco is the kingdom's only world-scale fertiliser complex. Sabic and Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) are building a multi-billion-dollar phosphate-based fertiliser complex at Ras al-Zour.

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