Saudi Arabia-based Nesma & Partners has won two contracts on the Clean Fuels Project at the Ras Tanura refinery on the kingdom’s Gulf coast.

State oil company Saudi Aramco awarded Nesma & Partners the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deals for the early works and site preparation packages.

Aramco has invited companies to bid on the two larger EPC packages on the estimated $3bn project, covering the main process units, and the offsites and utilities.

The scope for the two packages awarded to Nesma & Partners includes:

Early works

  • 69kV cable relocation and demolition
  • Communication duct bank relocation
  • Heavy haul gate, 23 modifications

Site preparation

  • Process area site preparation
  • Construction segregation fence
  • New security gate 45 site preparation
  • South terminal road upgrades
  • New Rahma ID office site preparation
  • Temporary facilities site preparation

The two packages are each estimated to be worth about $200m.

The Ras Tanura scheme was meant to have been awarded in late 2013 or early 2014, but was earmarked for retendering after the original bids came in well over Aramco’s preferred budget.

The naphtha and toluene package was to be split into units with the following capacities:

  • Naphtha hydrotreater – 140,000 barrels a day (b/d)
  • Catalytic cracking reformer – 90,000 b/d
  • Isomerisation – 65,000 b/d
  • Toluene – 70,000 b/d

Aramco resurrected the project after the long-awaited scheme was put on hold in January 2015 due to Aramco wanting to manage its cash flow and ring-fence more essential projects, industry sources told MEED.

Ras Tanura has also been earmarked as a potential site for additional petrochemicals production facilities, as part of the kingdom’s refining petrochemicals integration initiative, along with Jizan in the southwest of the kingdom and Yanbu on the Red Sea coast. However, these plans are almost certain to stall by several years as oil prices remain low.

US-based engineering group Jacobs was awarded the front-end engineering and design (feed) study and the project management consultancy (PMC) related works on the project, it was revealed in August 2012.

The Ras Tanura refinery is fully owned by Saudi Aramco and is the largest oil facility in Saudi Arabia, with a capacity of 550,000 b/d.