Work on $20-billion chemical complex addition at Saudi site will start in 2012.

A Dow Chemical Co.-Saudi Aramco joint venture has already contracted out about half of the $20-billion capital investment for its world-scale petrochemical complex in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. It expects to award all engineering, procurement and construction contracts by mid-2012, a project executive said last month. Aramco Vice President Abdulaziz Al Judaimi added that construction would start in the third quarter.

Jacobs Engineering Group on Nov. 8 won the EPC management contract to provide front-end engineering design, overall construction management and other services. The contract value was not disclosed. South Korea's Daelim Industrial was awarded two EPC contracts since July, valued at $707 million and $920 million, for key units, and Fluor Corp. won a $2-billion EPC management contract in August to develop all offsite work and utilities, including infrastructure and pipe work. Seoul-based Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. beat stiff global competition for an estimated $400-million tank farm, among other recent awards made by the JV.

The new complex is seen as a game-changer in Saudi Arabia's petrochemical industry. When completed in 2015, it will have 26 manufacturing units and be one of the world's largest of its kind. It will produce about 1.5 million tons per year of ethylene and about 400,000 tpy of propylene, as well as chemicals used in other manufacturing. Dow Chemical will market the products in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.