Saudi Aramco is close to awarding a contract for US-based GE to supply it with long lead equipment for its planned 400,000bpd export refinery at Yanbu on Saudi Arabia’s west coast. Aramco and US-based contractor KBR, which is providing Aramco’s consultancy services for the Yanbu refinery, hope to award the deal to GE this November. The 2 firms also hope to award three other contracts for companies to supply long lead equipment. The frontrunner for the coke drum contract is Japan-based Sumitomo Heavy Industries and Japan Steel Works should win a contract to supply a hydrocracker reactor. Japan-based Yokogawa Corp. should secure the award to supply the plant’s control system. The winner of the solids handling contract will build a sulphur pelletiser plant and coke storage unit at the refinery and a storage facility at nearby King Fahd port. Bids for all of the main construction deals at Yanbu are due on 31 January 2010.