01 April 2010 23:15 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The evaluation phase is on schedule for the Ras Tanura petrochemical project that Dow Chemical and Saudi Aramco are developing in Saudi Arabia, a spokesman for the US major said on Thursday.
"All I can tell you is the project continues to progress through the initial development phases," according to a statement by Bob Plishka, Dow spokesman.
The statement came as Reuters reported that the two companies have downsized the project by at least five plants and moved it to Al-Jubail.
Plishka did not comment on the report.
Earlier, an official at Saudi Aramco told ICIS that a new location was being considered, with Al-Jubail a possible alternative.
The review would result in only a slight delay to the planned 2014 start up, the official said.
The delay could possibly push the completion of the first phase out to 2016-2017, according to consultants at this week’s International Petrochemical Conference, held by the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA).
However, re-locating the project would be costly and raise feedstock supply issues. Plus, integration with Aramco’s Ras Tanura refinery is seen as a key feature of the planned complex.
Upon completion, the complex is projected to produce 8m tonnes/year of petrochemicals and gasoline products.
The refinery and petrochemical projects are expected to cost around $25bn (€19bn) and Dow's involvement would be the biggest foreign investment ever to take place in Saudi Arabia.
($1 = €0.74)
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