The work involves the installation of new units and the upgrade of existing ones at the refinery, which has a capacity of 140,000 barrels a day. Other companies bidding for the project included South Korea’s Daelim Engineers & Construction Companyand Italy’s Snamprogetti. The US’ Foster Wheeler Corporationis the project management consultant (PMC) and front-end engineering and design (FEED) contractor for the expansion. Bids were invited in November and were submitted in February.

The refinery contract is the third to have been won by Technip in the kingdom this year. It was awarded the second-largest EPC package for the Qatif project at a price of $360 million. In the same month, the company won the contract to build a new acetic acid plant for Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic). That contract, worth $59 million, brings the total value of Technip contracts won in the kingdom to about $510 million in 2002. The company is also bidding for another Sabic EPC contract to build the ethylene glycol unit at Jubail United Petrochemical Company.

Aramco is expected to focus on upgrading its refineries over the next year. Other work at Riyadh refinery includes a yield improvement programme that is being carried out by the local Al-Suwaidi Industrial Services Companyand the proposed installation of two new crude heaters and one vacuum heater. Seven companies have bid for the estimated SR 35 million ($9.3 million) contract and an award is expected in mid April. The bidders, all local, are the Mohammed Al-Mojil Group, Tammimi Group, Daewoo Arabia, Agap Arabia, Al-Suwaidi, and two companies identified as Sascoand Al-Hammam.