Jubail United Petrochemical Company (JUPC)
Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia

United U&O Project

Fluor has a long-standing relationship with Sabic and its affiliate companies spanning more than 25 years. As the PMC contractor on the United Utilities & Offsites (U&O) project in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia, Fluor managed the lump sum turnkey (LSTK) contractors’ work for overall complex scope for the 1,000 KTA ethylene, 575 LTA EO/EG, and 150 KTS linear alpha olefins units, as well as performing the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) for the U&O.

Other key units were an ethylene ground flare and an incinerator package. EPCM services were performed for U&O cooling water / seawater cooling system, steam/boiler feed water/condensate system, air systems, water systems, fuel systems, storage, fire water, wastewater treatment, and flare and incineration systems.

Client's Challenge

The United Olefins Complex in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia, was the first phase of a world-scale petrochemical complex for Jubail United Petrochemical Company, a wholly owned SABIC affiliate. Jubail United Petrochemical Company and Fluor formed an integrated project management team to manage the project.

Jubail United Petrochemical and Fluor initiated risk management programs, which were reviewed on a regular basis to ensure all risks were recognized. As a result of the risk reviews, action plans were developed and implemented to mitigate any identified risks.

Fluor's Solution

Fluor was the program management contractor for the overall project, including LSTK process areas, and also performed as the EPCM contractor for the utilities and offsites. Engineering for master planning and for the U&O portions was performed in Fluor’s Houston office, with portions of the detailed engineering work shared with Fluor's Manila, Philippines, and Al Khobar offices.

Fluor's responsibilities included safety leadership and implementation of the overall safety program; issuance of project specifications, procedures, and standards; and standardization of equipment, instrumentation, and building materials. Continuity among project areas, home offices, and the job site was also a significant component of project management oversight.

Fluor developed and implemented the turnover sequence and paths of construction, as well as the overall execution strategy and plan. Other tasks were performing the technical evaluation of the LSTK bids; overseeing the permitting, process safety, and loss prevention for the overall plan; and managing the interfaces between the various LSTK contractors and the utilities and offsites project to enable continuity among the various work areas.

The key units were the tanks for the following:

  • Monoethylene glycol (MEG)
  • Diethylene glycol (DEG)
  • Triethylene glycol (TEG)
  • Butene
  • Hexene
  • Octene
  • Decene
  • C12
  • C20+
  • Caustic (NaOH)
  • Hydrochloric acid (HCL)

The sheer scale of the United project helps to put its achievements in perspective:

  • Erected steel was equivalent to a 45-mile long line of Ford F150 trucks
  • Installed pipe was equivalent to a pipeline from Houston to Oklahoma City (about 450 miles)
  • Poured concrete was equivalent to a 56-mile long, two-lane highway
  • Moved soil was equivalent to the volume of two great pyramids of Egypt


The safety program met the challenges of a multilingual workforce of up to 14,000 people, as well as the climate and other factors, breaking SABIC and Fluor safety records by achieving 50 million work hours without a lost-time accident.

Climate and Cooling

Sandstorms, temperatures approaching 49 degrees C (120 degrees F), and high relative humidity were planned for in order to have an effective safety program.

The seawater cooling tower was developed because the availability of seawater in the Jubail Canal system was limited. (Developments in the Jubail industrial area typically rely on a large capacity of seawater to provide cooling on a “once-through” basis.)

Diversity of Workforce

Key to the success of this project was the diverse workforce of nationals from 12 countries. The onsite workforce, peaking at 14,000, spoke 17 languages and 10 additional dialects. In addition, the United project benefited from a global execution platform: teams were working in Saudi Arabia, the United States, Manila, Japan, and Germany. Multilingual and iconic safety signs were implemented to communicate with the diverse workforce.



The overall project (Pre-FEED, FEED & EPC) was completed in 42 months, and the utilities and offsites were completed in 38 months. Work sharing between Fluor offices in Houston, Texas, USA, and Manila, Philippines, was a significant factor in completing the project in this record time.

The safety program met the challenges of a multilingual workforce of up to 14,000 people, as well as the climate and other factors, to break SABIC and Fluor safety records by achieving 50 million work hours without a lost-time accident.

The project began in 2001 and was completed in 2004.