GPCA '11: Saudi Aramco outlines planned aromatics projects

14 December 2011 13:58  [Source: ICIS news]

DUBAI (ICIS)--Saudi Aramco revealed details on Wednesday of future aromatics projects at its refineries in Ras Tanura and Yanbu in Saudi Arabia.

Fayez Al Sharef, director for chemicals at the state-owned company, said the projects are part of the group’s plans to leverage its existing assets and promote integration, both in terms of physical integration of assets and integration of businesses.

Saudi Aramco expects to start up an aromatics project at its Ras Tanura refinery in eastern Saudi Arabia in 2015, Al Sharef told ICIS on the sidelines of the Sixth Annual GPCA (Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association) Forum.

The project, which is in the advanced stages of planning, will have the capacity to produce 1.1m tonnes/year of paraxylene (PX), as well as benzene, he said.

It is part of Saudi Aramco’s clean fuels programme, involving recovering some of the aromatics in the gasoline pool at the refinery, he added.

Saudi Aramco also plans to include an aromatics complex at its 400,000 bbl/day refinery project in Jazan on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast. The project will have a combined capacity to produce more than 1m tonnes/year of PX and benzene, Al Sharef said.

French technology company Axens announced in September that it has won the contract to design processing units for naphtha hydrotreating, continuous catalytic reforming for aromatics production, C5/C6 isomerisation and a unit to produce high purity PX and benzene.

According to Axens, the Jazan refinery project is expected to be commissioned in December 2016.

Saudi Aramco is also building a joint venture aromatics complex with France’s Total as part of their Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co (Satorp) project in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Al Sharef said the project is expected to begin operations in the second half of 2013.

The Satorp project will have the capacity to produce 700,000 tonnes/year of PX and 140,000 tonnes/year of benzene.

By: Anna Jagger
+44 20 8652 3214

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