RIYADH, (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has for a third time delayed a tender for bids for a 200,000 barrels-per-day oil refinery in the southern province of Jizan, al-Watan newspaper reported on Sunday.
“We were informed of the delay on Thursday and we are awaiting more clarifications,” Watan quoted a source from one of the consortiums bidding for the project as saying.
Unlike the two previous delays, the Petroleum and Mining Ministry did not set a new date for submitting bids, the newspaper reported, without saying how it obtained the information.
A ministry spokesman was not available for comment.
Spiralling costs have cast doubt over the viability of new oil refineries worldwide and industry observers have been sceptical over the Jizan plan as it is a long distance from crude production facilities.
U.S. Bechtel and Foster Wheeler, France’s Technip and Italian Snamprogetti are among foreign companies that have set up consortiums with Saudi firms such as Tasnee 2060.SE to bid for the project, Watan said.
The government unveiled plans to build the refinery in 2006 and said it would be 100 percent privately owned with an initial public offering taking place once the refinery was deemed viable.
Watan quoted the source as saying bidding consortiums were growing concerned over the project.