Aramco-Dow project to be scaled down?

By Malini Hariharan

If you are moving a project to a new location then why not take some time to re-examine its configuration?

That appears to be the thinking at Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical for their proposed cracker and derivatives complex in Saudi Arabia. As reported on this blog recently, the mega petrochemical project is likely to be moved to Al Jubail from Ras Tanura.

But along with this shift the two companies are now said to be re-examining the product slate. Zawaya reports that the sponsors are trying to decide if it would be better to source some intermediate products from other companies located at Jubail. This would mean fewer units and therefore lower costs for a project that was initially estimated at over $20bn.

The news report also states that while a final decision on the move to Jubail has yet to be made the companies are in discussions with the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu. The project is likely to be based in Jubail II as all plots in Jubail I are occupied. It would be housed next to a joint-venture refinery being built by Aramco and Total which can supply feedstocks to the cracker.

Pic source: Kentz

By locating the project at Al-Jubail, Dow and Aramco would also save on infrastructure development costs as this location is better developed than Ras Tanura. And sources close to the project have also said that contrary to expectations the relocation would help speed up project execution.

But with contracts yet to be awarded completion of the project could easily take another 4-5 years.

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