‘We are looking at a pretty aggressive schedule that sees the financing closed by about June,’ a source close to the transaction says. ‘We are looking at all the options: local and international commercial debt and export credits.’

The cost of the project has come down to $500 million-550 million from the original $700 million since the fire at the refinery last November (MEED 26:11:12). ‘Some of the repair work included elements of the new project, so it has become just an upgrade project rather than an expansion and an upgrade,’ he says.

Two international contractors – Italy’s Snamprogettiand Paris-based Technip– submitted on 8 December revised commercial and technical bids for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the rehabilitation of the 126,000-barrel-a-day (b/d) refinery. Samir, the kingdom’s monopoly refiner, plans to award the contract by the end of January at the latest.

A consortium of US-based ABB Lummus Global with LG Engineering of South Korea declined to submit a revised bid. The group, along with Snamprogetti and Technip, had originally bid for the contract before the fire (MEED 17:10:03).