Jacobs wins engineering deal on new soda ash unit in Saudi Arabia

Jacobs Engineering Group has been awarded a contract from IDEA Soda Ash and Calcium Chloride Co. (ISACC) to provide engineering and project management for a $300 million soda ash and calcium chloride plant at Jubail's Second Industrial City in Saudi Arabia.

Officials did not disclose the contract value. They said that Jacobs' offices in Winnersh, UK, Mumbai, India, and Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, would support ISACC for the pre-contract award activities.

The facility is the first of its kind in the Kingdom and the Gulf Cooperation Council to produce soda ash (sodium carbonate) and calcium chloride, the companies said.

The products, currently being imported, are used in oil and gas drilling operations, as well as in the manufacture of glass and detergents.

Following award of the engineering, procurement and construction contract, Jacobs is also providing the project management services up to the plant startup, it said.

ISACC CEO Abdulaziz A-Muaiyyad said: "We are excited to be working with Jacobs, in their capacity as our PMC (project management consultant) partner, for this strategic project for the Kingdom. The project will make a significant contribution to the development of Saudi Arabia 's non-oil economy with all basic materials secured from mines within Saudi Arabia."

Jacobs vice president Bob Irvin added: "We are pleased to bring our long experience and expertise in the field of engineering services and project management in the region to this project. It is the first of its kind in the Kingdom and we fully recognize the importance of increasing the participation of the chemical industries sector in the national economy."

The commissioning production run is scheduled to start by end of 2014 and commercial operations are expected to follow in the first quarter of 2015.

Work is currently in progress to secure all the other necessary utilities to run the project, the companies said.

ISACC is setting up a new entity - Jubail Inorganic Chemicals Industries Co. - to run the new facility, it said.

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