Saudi Arabian Fertiliser Company (Safco) has awarded an engineering design, supply and construction contract to Italy’s Saipem for its planned new urea fertiliser train at the Jubail complex.

Saipem was awarded the estimated SR2bn ($533m) lump-sum turnkey contract on 6 December.

Seven international engineering contractors submitted bids for the scheme in late October (MEED 11:11:11)

Bidders included Chiyoda of Japan; Daelim, GS Engineering & Construction and Samsung Engineering, all of South Korea; the US’ KBR and Germany’s Uhde.

The new plant, Safco-5 will have a capacity of 1.1 million tonnes a year (t/y), converting 850,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is currently vented into the atmosphere into urea fertiliser.

Construction is estimated at 26 months with commercial production slated before the end of 2014.

Mohammad al-Mady, Safco’s chairman and chief executive officer of Safco’s parent company, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) says the company will use its own resources to finance the project.

Safco is one of the largest producers of urea in the world with an annual production capacity of more than 2.6 million tonnes of urea at its complex in the Eastern Province.