State-owned oil company Saudi Aramco withdrew the prequalification documents for the air separation package on its Jizan gasification project after deciding to change the contracting strategy.

The package for the unit was initially released on a lump-sum turnkey (LSTK), engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis, but this is now going be changed.

An over-the-fence system, where gas suppliers build a plant then sells the services to the larger facility is the model,which will now be used instead of the conventional LSTK.

This means that France’s Air Liquide and Germany’s Linde will be the immediate frontrunners for the project as both have experience of executing similar projects in Saudi Arabia.

“This may initially look like a straight fight between Air Liquide and Linde, but it might not turn out that way,” says a source familiar with the project. “There will be some EPC contractors looking to form a consortium with other technology providers and submit a bid.”

After the prequalification process has been completed, Aramco will then issue tenders for the packages to the successful EPC contractors. A LSTK contract model is being used to execute the project. 

The scheme will be split into five packages in total:

  • Air separation unit/oxygen supply
  • Combined-cycle power plant
  • Gasification
  • Offsites and utilities
  • Sulphur recovery

The US’ KBR is carrying out the front-end engineering and design (feed) as well as the project management consultancy (PMC) for the refinery and power plant.