Work on the US$20 bln plus Ras Tanura integrated refinery upgrade and petrochemical complex is on full throttle. The joint venture of Dow Chemical Company and Saudi Aramco has invited companies to submit proposals for the technology packages on the scheme. Aramco is taking responsibility for the refinery's technology and has approached licensing companies for the various components, including the furnaces, hydrotreaters and hydrocracker technology. Dow is handling the technology licensing for the petrochemical complex. The company is providing its own proprietary technology for most of the 30-plus units but is looking for licences for several advanced downstream processes, including the cumene and phenol units.
A final decision on whether to go ahed with the complex is due to be taken upon completion of the front-end engineering and design and cost estimate by KBR. If given the go ahead, tendering for the engineering, procurement and construction packages will start soon after, beginning with the cracker contract and the upstream chemical units. France's Technip seems best placed to build the cracker as it tends to be favoured by Dow due to a complimentary technology mix.