State-run oil company Saudi Aramco is close to awarding a contract for a company to supply it with long-lead equipment for its planned 400,000-barrel-a-day (b/d) export refinery at Yanbu on Saudi Arabia’s west coast.

According to a source close to the project, the US’ GE will win the award to supply a compressor and turbine package for the refinery.

Aramco and US contractor KBR, which is providing Aramco’s consultancy services for the Yanbu refinery, hope to award the deal to GE in November.

The two firms also hope to award three other contracts for companies to supply long-lead equipment.

The frontrunner for the coke drum contract is Japan’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries, and Japan Steel Works should win a contract to supply a hydrocracker reactor (MEED 2:10:09).

Japanese technology specialist Yokogawa Corporation should secure the award to supply the plant’s control system.

Aramco and KBR have also invited prequalified contractors to a meeting in Yanbu on 8 November to outline the details of a $500m solids-handling contract at the refinery.

The winner of the solids-handling contract will build a sulphur pelletiser plant and coke storage unit at the refinery and a storage facility at nearby King Fahd port.

Bids for all of the main construction deals at Yanbu are due on 31 January 2010 (MEED 19:6:09).

KBR is managing the selection process because of its role as the combined front-end engineering and design (Feed) and programme management services contractor on the refinery.

US oil major ConocoPhillips is Aramco’s joint venture partner on the facility.