Contracting sources close to the project tell MEED the local MS al-Suwaidi Industrial Services Company is frontrunner to win the deal for the plants, which will serve as oil distribution points across the kingdom.

At least 12 firms submitted bids for the deal by the 28 June deadline. Aramco pushed back the deadline from the original date of 7 June after contractors asked for more time to prepare their bids.

The lump sum procure-and-build contract includes four plants in the northwest of the kingdom – Duba, Jouf, Tabuk and Turaif – and four in the southwest – Abha, Rabigh, Jizan and Yanbu.

The contract also covers the Qatif and Hasa bulk plants in the Eastern Province and the Qasim and Sulayyil plants in the central region.

The winning contractor will increase the petroleum, diesel and fuel oil storage capacities at the plants. However, the scale of the upgrade is not known.

The original list of 20 prequalified firms included Turkey’s Tekfen; Italy’s Snamprogetti; South Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction and Isu Engineering; Argentina’s Techint; France’s Technip; Spain’s TR; the UK’s Petrofac; Japan’s JGC Corporation and Chiyoda Corporation; India’s Dayim Punj Lloyd; the local MR al-Khatlan Group, Etec Arabia, Mohammed al-Mojil Group, MS Al-Suwaidi and Nesma Group; UK-based SA Kentz; China’s Sinopec; Singapore’s Rotary Engineering; and Egypt’s Enppi.