Saudi Aramco and Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical has awarded seven engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for the $5bn PetroRabigh phase two project on the west coast of Saudi Arabia.

The majority of the packages for the scheme have now been awarded, with South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction emerging as the biggest winner with three packages.

The successful contractors and the packages awarded include:

GS Engineering & Construction (South Korea)

  • CP3: Ethylene-vinylacetate/low-density polyethylene, ethylene propylene rubber, thermoplastic olefin and polymethyl methacrylate plants
  • CP4: Methyl tertiary butyl-ether/iso-butylene (MTBE/IB), methyl methacrylate and metathesis plants
  • UO1: Offsites and utilities

Saipem (Italy)

  • RP2: Aromatics complex

Petrofac (UK)

  • UO2: Tank farm
  • UO3: Common facilities

JGC Corporation (Japan)

  • RP1: Ethylene cracker: de-bottlenecking

“This is a good win for GS E&C and it shows that the Koreans are still dominating the EPC market in the kingdom,” says a contracting source based in Saudi Arabia. “But the Europeans also scored with the aromatics and utilities packages so they should be encouraged by that.”

The only remaining package not awarded is known as CP1 and covers the construction of the caprolactam and nylon-6 plants. South Korea’s Daelim Industrial is the frontrunner for the package, but it has yet to be awarded and the joint venture partners have extended the bid validity until 2 June. The CP2 package, which covered the construction of the cumene, phenol and cyclohexanone plants, has been cancelled.

MEED reported in March that GS E&C, Petrofac and Daelim were frontrunners for packages at PetroRabigh phase two.

Contractors in the kingdom have been waiting for about five months for a decision to be made regarding the PetroRabigh phase two project after delays in the scheme. However, officials from Saudi Aramco and PetroRabigh have consistently reiterated their support of the expansion to proceed.

The first phase of PetroRabigh commenced production in November 2009 and produces more than 20 million tonnes a year of petroleum and petrochemicals products.

Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo each own 37.5 per cent of PetroRabigh, with the remaining 25 per cent traded on the Tadawul (Saudi Arabian Stock Exchange).