South Korea’s Samsung Engineering is close to being awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for Saudi Aramco Lubricating Oil Refining Company’s (Luberef) $1bn expansion.

The South Korean contractor submitted the lowest bid and now clarification meetings have taken place an award is likely to come in late October.

“I believe Samsung Engineering is going to be awarded the contract,” says a contracting source based in Saudi Arabia. “They were the lowest bidder and as long as the technical submission is okay, it would be unusual for that not to be the deciding factor in any decision by the client.”

The project is being tendered on a lump-sum turnkey (LSTK) contract basis, which will be a combination of grassroots construction and brownfield rehabilitation.

The scope will involve the construction of a 23,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) lube hydrocracker and catalytic ISO-dewaxing complex, which will include hydrogen manufacturing, sour gas absorption, sulphur recovery and prilling units.

That will make up the main package, but Luberef is also tendering a smaller package for a propane deasphalter (PDA) unit that will increase its propane deasphalting from 6,500 b/d to 12,500 b/d, as well as increase the asphalt capacity to 12,000 b/d.

Other upgrades will include modifying existing pipework and building a new water-cooling system, complete with cooling towers.

Luberef is a 70:30 joint venture of Saudi Aramco and the local Jadwa Investment.

Other bidding companies

  • Foster Wheeler (US)
  • Jacobs Engineering (US)
  • JGC Corporation (Japan)
  • KBR (US)
  • Mustang Engineering (US)
  • SNC Lavalin (Canada)

Source: MEED