Saudi Aramco, Total award first contract for Jubail

DUBAI Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:22am EST

DUBAI Dec 29 (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco's and French oil major Total (TOTF.PA) awarded a construction contract for its $12 billion joint-venture refining and petrochemical facility in Saudi Arabia, the companies said on Monday.

The contract, which is required to support the construction phase of the complex at Jubail, is an indication of the companies commitment to push through the project.

The contract was awarded to the Saudi Arabian based contractor, Contracting and Contruction Enterprise Ltd.

Under the agreement the construction company will develop about 600 hectares with basic infrastrucutre allowing for the accomodation of 30,000 workers, temporary offices, and 3,000 personnel.

Construction of all facilities is to be finished by the end of 2012, with commercial operations of the facilities set for March 2013.

The contract award comes on the back of Kuwait's decision to scrap a deal to form a $17.4 billion petrochemical joint-venture company. The cancellation of the deal, was expected to pay off a large part of the company's $13 billion debt.

Across the region, joint state and private ventures in refining, petrochemical and power still looking for finance may be delayed and see costs rise as they wait for credit conditions to ease.

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