20 April 2009 15:06 [Source: ICIS news]
TOKYO (ICIS news)--Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saudi Aramco to begin a feasibility study on the second phase of their Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co (Petro Rabigh) joint venture, the chemical producers said on Monday.
The study, which was scheduled to be completed by the third quarter of 2010, was an initiative by Sumitomo Chemical and Saudi Aramco, with Petro Rabigh providing support and assistance, the companies said in separate statements.
The study would evaluate the viability of the Rabigh II project, including investment amounts, to achieve a range of expansions.
The expansions included an additional 30m standard cubic feet/day of feedstock ethane for Petro Rabigh’s ethane cracker; building a new aromatics complex using around 3m tonnes/year of naphtha; and constructing various petrochemical production units, the companies said.
Those units would produce such products as ethylene propylene rubber (EPR), thermo plastic olefin (TPO), methyl methacrylate (MMA) monomer, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), caprolactam, polyols, cumene, phenol/acetone, acrylic acid, super absorbent polymers and nylon 6, according to the two companies.
Once the project is deemed financially viable, Petro Rabigh would be invited to decide on its implementation, with a target start-up in the third quarter of 2014, Sumitomo Chemical and Saudi Aramco said.
The two companies recently commissioned the first phase of Petro Rabigh in March, but production at the 1.25m tonne/year cracker has been unstable, which could push back the start-up of its derivative plants.
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