Saudi Aramco has arrived at a decision to move a US$17 bln plus (over SR63.75 bln) petrochemicals project from Ras Tanura to Jubail. Dow Chemicals is a partner in this project that will be Saudi Aramco’s biggest-ever project. The location change will allow cost savings of up to 40%, as the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu will provide the basic infrastructure needed for the project, including utilities such as power and water. This move will lead to termination of a US$8 bln (SR30 bln) refinery development in Ras Tanura and will lead to major changes to schemes worth an additional US$17 bln (SR63.75 bln). The relocation will also lead to a change in scope of the petrochemicals complex since the facility will now be fed entirely by ethane gas rather than a mix of gas and the petroleum product naphtha. The ethane will be provided by Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemicals Company (Satorp) in Jubail, for which construction contracts were awarded in 2009.
Feed studies for the reworked complex are due for completion by the end of the year, and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts could be tendered in 2011. The volume of output from the plant is not expected to be altered, yet the diversity of the scope of products will be decreased.