UpdatePetro Rabigh to target India and China markets

06 September 2010 12:58  [Source: ICIS news]

(adds details on new PTA unit in ninth paragraph)Petro Rabigh to target India and China markets after expansions

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co (Petro Rabigh) will focus on the fast-growing markets of China and India as it expands its complex in Saudi Arabia, parent company Saudi Aramco said in a report over the weekend.

“Product will be marketed across Europe and Asia, with a particular focus on meeting the needs of the dynamic emerging markets in India and China,” Saudi Aramco said in a quarterly publication, Dimensions International, published on its website.

Petro Rabigh is a joint venture between state-owned Saudi Aramco and Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical.

The expansion plans are part of a $10bn (€7.8bn) development plan at the Petro Rabigh petrochemical complex in Rabigh, on Saudi Arabia’s western coast, the report said. The report did not mention the completion date for the expansion project.

Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical awarded a feasibility study contract for the Phase II project to Japanese engineering and construction company JGC Corp last year, and the phase is due to be completed in October this year.

The Petro Rabigh complex 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 700,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) plant and a 600,000 tonne/year monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant.

With the expansions, Petro Rabigh would be able to produce 2.5m tonnes/year of ethylene and propylene-based derivatives, according to the report.

Ethane-derived products include ethylene, polyethylene (PE), propylene, polypropylene (PP), propylene oxide and mono ethylene glycol, it said.

In addition, a third party will establish a new manufacturing facility at the Rabigh site for a purified terephthatic acid (PTA) unit that produces 500,000-700,000 tonnes/year and a polyethylene terephtalate (PET) unit that produces 200,000-400,000 tonnes/year, the report said.

Petro Rabigh would also be de-bottlenecking its ethane cracker at its existing refinery facility to produce an additional 300,000 tonnes/year of ethylene, it said.

Among the new units planned is a 2.5m-3.0m tonne/year naphtha reformer, which could produce 200,000-400,000 tonnes/year of benzene and 800,000-850,000 tonnes/year of paraxylene (PX), and a 90,000-120,000 tonne/year low density polyethylene (LDPE) line, it said.

The company would also produce more than 18m tonnes/year of petroleum-based products, according to the report.

Petro Rabigh’s complex includes a high-olefins-yield fluid catalytic cracker complex integrated with a world-scale, ethane-based cracker that is designed to produce around 1.3m tonnes/year of ethylene and 900,000 tonnes/year of propylene, it said.

“Petrochemical units will convert all of the olefin production to downstream products,” the report said.

“Production will go beyond basic commodities into very specific and unique products, such as thermoplastics, suitable for smaller-size businesses and the niche market,” it added.

($1 = €0.78)

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By: Nurluqman Suratman

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