Aramco and SABIC select Yanbu for multibillion-dollar oil-to-chemicals project
2018-11-02    [Source:chemical week]

Saudi Aramco and SABIC have confirmed CW’s exclusive report that they will build their joint crude oil–to–chemicals (COTC) project at Yanbu, on the west coast of Saudi Arabia. The announcement by Aramco and SABIC, the two largest industrial entities in the kingdom, reflects the high importance both companies place on making Saudi Arabia a key hub for global chemicals production.

The complex will utilize an economically viable, innovative configuration to convert crude oil to chemicals. It is expected to process 400,000 barrels/day of crude oil, which will produce approximately 9 million metric tons/year (MMt/y) of chemicals and base oils and is expected to start operations in 2025. CW understands that the complex will include a two-line ethylene complex designed to produce a combined 3 MMt/y.

The complex is expected to create an estimated 30,000 direct and indirect jobs, further stimulating the kingdom’s economic diversification efforts. By 2030, the COTC complex is expected to have 1.5% impact on the kingdom’s GDP, with investments being shared equally by both companies. Aramco is in the process of acquiring SABIC, which energy minister and chairman of Aramco Khalid al-Falih said would take approximately 18 months to complete.

The project will support the creation of a world-leading downstream sector in Saudi Arabia, built on four key drivers: maximizing value from the kingdom’s crude oil production via integration across the hydrocarbon chain; enabling the creation of conversion industries to produce semifinished and finished goods to help diversify the economy; developing advanced technologies and innovation; and enabling sustainable development in alignment with the kingdom’s national transformation program.

The announcement strengthens the alliance between the two largest Saudi entities and solidifies the kingdom’s position as a global leader in chemicals by substantially increasing production and maximizing value across the entire hydrocarbons chain. Earlier this year, Aramco and SABIC awarded the project management and front-end engineering contracts to Wood and KBR. The partners are working on finalizing the selection of leading-edge processes to complement their technologies.

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