SONHOE plans Teesside UK £2bn 'upgrader' refinery

10 October 2007 10:44  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--A £2bn oil refinery and upgrading facility is planned for the Tees Valley in the northeast of England, hydrocarbon development company SONHOE said on Wednesday.

The facility would be close to petrochemical operations in the area, including SABIC Europe’s 865,000 tonne/year steam cracker at Wilton.

It would be designed to process 200,000 bbl/day of heavy crude oil into low sulphur diesel, petrochemical feedstock naphtha and kerosene for the UK market and for export, SONHOE said.

The refinery would produce about 1.5m tonnes/year of naphtha and light ends.

The project plans are at an early stage but SONHOE said the Tees Valley had been selected from 50 possible sites in northern Europe for the availability of brownfield land, deep water access and an experienced manufacturing workforce.

Brownfield sites have been identified in and around the Wilton International site for the main processing units, storage and logistics faculties and a new marine terminal on the river Tees, SONHOE said.

The project would be developed over the next five to seven years, it added.

“The next stage of the development is to enter into front end engineering design (FEED) with associated activities to referees permissions and commercial arrangements for crude oil supply and infrastructure preparation, SONHOE said in a press statement.

The development would be of huge importance to the area and continue the "investment renaissance” at Wilton International, the managing director of the site's utility provider SembCorp Utilities UK, said.

The local processing industries would benefit from the development, SABIC UK Petrochemicals president Paul Booth said. Booth heads the North East process Industry Cluster GDP growth strategy team, a local development initiative.

“In principle SABIC welcomes any initiative which supports the development and expansion of the choicer industry on Teesside,” he added.

By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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