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Trio in hunt for Aramco gas plants prize

Contractors face off for major onshore expansion work at Aramco’s Uthmaniyah and Shedgum facilities

Up to three leading international contractors are set to compete for a major onshore contract from Saudi Aramco for the expansion of its Uthmaniyah and Shedgum gas plants in Saudi Arabia as part of a project that is likely to be worth about $2.7 billion.

Project observers said Aramco recently issued tender documents to pre-qualified engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors, of which two or three players are expected to ultimately submit bids.

Those thought to be eyeing the onshore gas plant package include Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas, China’s Sepco, and South Korean giant Samsung E&C.

Indian engineering giant Larsen & Toubro is also understood to be in the frame, but its participation could not be confirmed by Upstream.

In addition, South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction (HDEC), Japan’s JGC and Italy’s Saipem are also understood to have received tender documents, but are thought to have declined to participate, one source said.

Another predicted that Tecnicas Reunidas and Sepco are likely to be the “most serious” contenders.

Technical and commercial offers for the Uthmaniyah and Shedgum gas-plant package are likely to be submitted by the end of October, and the Saudi state-owned giant is expected to finalise its preferred contractor by December.

The contract scope is said to involve work on three new gas compression plants in the Uthmaniyah and Shedgum areas.

“The new gas compression plants will separate gas and liquids at 150 pounds per square inch gauge (psig) and boost the gas pressure to feed the two gas plants at 1000 psig,” one source said.

More than 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of gas is likely to be received by the plants through the new compression facilities, the source added.

The workscope also includes modifications to the existing Uthmaniyah and Shedgum gas plants and other related facilities.

The onshore gas plant job is understood to be the largest onshore package offered by Aramco since the award of multiple onshore packages comprising its Marjan incremental development.

Aramco awarded five Marjan onshore packages earlier this year, which together are believed to be worth more than $6 billion.

Saipem, Tecnicas Reunidas and Hyundai Engineering & Construction landed contracts from Saudi Aramco this year for the onshore oil and gas surface facilities required for the Marjan development.

Tecnicas Reunidas is understood to have won Marjan packages 9 and 11, Saipem landed package 10, while Hyundai confirmed it had been awarded packages 6 and 12.

In addition, Aramco was understood to have awarded a contract worth more than $2 billion to Saipem earlier this year for work on expanding its Abu Ali gas plant in connection with its Berri incremental programme.

Leading onshore EPC players are also competing for Aramco’s unconventional onshore gas plant project at Jafurah in eastern Saudi Arabia that is expected to cost upwards of $2.5 billion.

The Jafurah gas terminal is likely to process up to 1.1 billion cubic feet per day of unconventional (shale) raw gas from nearby areas, producing sales gas, ethane, natural gas liquids and condensate.

Those believed to be pre-qualified for the Jafurah gas plant package include JGC, L&T, Saipem, UK-based TechnipFMC and Hyundai E&C, Samsung E&C and GS E&C, sources told Upstream.

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