Petro Rabigh Phase II expansion study to be completed by Oct

06 April 2010 07:13  [Source: ICIS news]

By Prema Viswanathan

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co (Petro Rabigh) expects the feasibility study for the expansion of its petrochemical complex in Saudi Arabia to be completed by October this year, sources close to the company said on Tuesday.

"Several options are being considered for the Phase II expansion, but a final decision can only be taken after the feasibility study has been handed in," one of the sources said.

Petro Rabigh, a joint venture between state-owned Saudi Aramco and Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical, had awarded the feasibility study contract for the Phase II project to Japanese engineering and construction company JGC Corp last year.

"The study is looking at a 30% expansion of the existing ethane cracker and a new aromatics complex using naphtha, as well as downstream units with a view to adding value to existing feedstocks," a second source said.

Feedstock ethane for the expansion had already been allocated, the source added.

Around 3m tonnes/year of naphtha would be available for the aromatics complex from the Saudi Aramco refineries in the kingdom, the source said.

"It is better to add value to the naphtha instead of exporting it," the source added.

The value added products being considered for the Phase II expansion include ethylene propylene rubber (EPR), thermo plastic olefin (TPO), methyl methacrylate (MMA) monomer, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), caprolactam, polyols, cumene, phenol/acetone, acrylic acid, SAP and nylon-6, as well as low density polyethylene (LDPE)/ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA).

The Petro Rabigh complex, located at Rabigh on Saudi Arabia's western coast, currently houses a 1.3m tonne/year ethane cracker, a 300,000 tonne/year high density PE (HDPE) line, a 600,000 tonne/year linear low density PE (LLDPE) facility, a 600,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) plant and a 700,000 tonne/year monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant.

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By: Prema Viswanathan
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