Sipchem forges ahead

12 June 2006

Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) is pressing ahead with its new Jubail petrochemicals and ammonia complex. The tender for the project management consultancy (PMC) contract has been issued, while further details of the product slate and configuration were announced at the MEED Gulf Petrochemicals Conference in Bahrain on 5 June (MEED 12:5:06).

'We have received our feedstock allocation and are pressing ahead with the complex,' said Abdullatif Bhairi, Sipchem vice-president for planning and project development. 'It will be one of the largest and most diversified projects in the Gulf. We are nearing agreements on a partner and the various technologies to be used.'

The multi-billion-dollar complex will comprise a 1.2 million-tonne-a-year (t/y) ethane/propane cracker and several downstream units, including bimodal high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene, vinyl acetate and polyacrylonitrile. It will have an associated 1,650-tonne-a-day ammonia plant. Hydrogen and nitrogen for the ammonia facility will be sourced from Sipchem's butanediol (BDO) and vinyls complex.

For the PMC contract, three companies have until30 June to submit bids. They are Foster Wheeler andFluor Corporation, both of the US, and Australia's WorleyParsons. Sipchem says it plans to award the contract a few weeks later.

The planned complex is the third phase of Sipchem's expansion plans. Its first phase, covering the methanol plant expansion and BDO unit, started up at the end of last year, while the main contracts were recently signed for the phase 2 acetyls complex (MEED 31:3:06).

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