The plant became the only ongoing cracker project in the region after Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) shelved plans for its own Jubail cracker in June (MEED 20:6:08).

The three bids have been made to the joint venture of South Korea’s Honam Petrochemical Corporation and Qatar Intermediate Holdings Company, a subsidiary of Qatar Petroleum.

The bidding groups are Germany’s Linde with South Korea’s Samsung Engineering Company; KBR of the US with GS Engineering & Construction of South Korea; and CBI Lummus Global of the US with Japan’s Toyo Engineering Corporation and South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company.

Commercial bids are due by the end of September.

The $1bn scheme covers the provision of technology and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of a 900,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) ethane/naphtha cracker (MEED 16:5:08).

The complex will produce 600,000 t/y of styrene monomer, 200,000 t/y of polystyrene and 700,000 t/y of polypropylene.

Expressions of interest have also been submitted for the four downstream EPC packages at the plant, with a prequalification shortlist due to be issued soon. The four contracts cover an aromatics facility, polyolefin units, an ethyl benzene styrene monomer plant and a world-scale olefins conversion unit (MEED 10:4:08).

More than 10 crackers have been built in the GCC since 2005.