06 May 2004 13:43 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--Swiss-headquartered engineering group ABB confirmed on Thursday it had completed the evacuation of all its expatriate employees and their families from Yanbu in Saudi Arabia.
A spokesman for the company told CNI that all 90 employees of petrochemical engineering subsidiary ABB Lummus plus 30 family members had either returned home or were on their way home.
The evacuation was hastily arranged after five employees were killed and two injured in a terrorist attack on the offices of ABB Lummus at Yanbu. The men were working on a cracker upgrade and expansion contract at the site of client Yanpet - a joint venture between US energy giant ExxonMobil and Saudi state-owned industrial group Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic).
Worth about $100m (Euro83m) to ABB Lummus, the contract has been suspended temporarily. Work started in February last year and was due to be completed in September.
The ABB spokesman said negotiations were continuing with ExxonMobil and Sabic over a revised project schedule. However, he was unable to say how long the project might be delayed, or when its expatriate employees might return to Yanbu.
Plans to sell ABB Lummus as part of ABB's asset disposal programme have not been affected by the Yanbu incident, insisted the spokesman. He said negotiations were continuing with several bidders and the company hoped to announce a deal by the end of this year.
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