Saudi Aramco is on the verge of awarding South Korea’s Samsung Engineering the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the $200m Clean Transportation Fuels Project (CTFP) at its Riyadh refinery.

MEED reported in early January that only four contractors were left in the running for the scheme.

“Samsung Engineering is the hot favourite for this project now and I think Aramco will make an award shortly,” says an oil and gas source based in Saudi Arabia. “They have taken their time to make a decision, but Samsung is leading at this point.”

Samsung Engineering declined to comment when contacted by MEED, citing a confidentiality agreement.

The scope of works includes new isomerisation, naphtha-splitting and sulphur guard-bed units, as well as a diesel hydrotreater reactors. Other work includes the debottlenecking of the hydrocracker and gas concentration units, and replacement of crude and vacuum distillation tower internals.

MEED reported in July 2011 that the US’ Foster Wheeler had been awarded the front-end engineering and design (feed) for the project.

Aramco has initiated several similar clean fuels schemes at its domestic wholly owned and joint-venture refineries, including its facilities at Ras Tanura, Yanbu and Rabigh. The schemes are part of Aramco’s fuel quality plans, which aim to cut air pollution by supplying ultra-low sulphur diesel for domestic use.

This involves lowering the sulphur content in diesel for transportation to 10 parts a million. This will bring the kingdom’s fuel in line with international standards. Aramco is looking to reduce sulphur in its diesel by 95 per cent by 2016.