Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (Adnoc) have announced that they have signed a framework agreement to jointly develop the $44-billion integrated refinery and petrochemical complex at Ratnagiri, Maharashtra State, India.
A signing ceremony took place in New Delhi, India, on Monday. The accord defines the principles of the cooperation between Aramco and Adnoc to build, own, and operate the complex in collaboration with a consortium of Indian national oil companies, currently consisting of Indian Oil (Mumbai), Bharat Petroleum (Mumbai), and Hindustan Petroleum (Mumbai). Aramco and Adnoc will together own 50% of a new joint venture company, Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. (RRPCL), with the remaining 50% owned by the Indian consortium. Adnoc confirmed in May that it was in discussions to own a part of Aramco’s 50% stake in the Ratnagiri project.
The refinery will be capable of processing 1.2 million b/d of crude oil. Petrochemical output would total 18 million metric tons/year, making it the largest-ever petrochemical complex built in a single phase. The product breakdown has not been given but the complex will include a steam cracker and downstream petrochemical facilities.
Aramco says that the cooperation with Adnoc marks a significant step in regional energy partnerships, bringing together two of the world’s leading national oil companies as strategic partners with the Indian consortium. It will also combine their expertise spanning crude supply, resources, and technologies, together with an established commercial presence and global reach. A pre-feasibility study to determine the project’s overall configuration will now be jointly executed by the parties, adds Aramco.
“This project is a clear example of our expanded downstream strategy, where we will make strategic, commercially-driven, targeted investments, both in the UAE and abroad,” says Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber, minister of state for the United Arab Emirates and Adnoc CEO. Adnoc also announced in May its plans to invest 165 billion Emirati dirhams ($45 billion) together with partners over the next five years to become a leading worldwide downstream player. “By investing in this project, we will both secure offtake of our crude to a key market for Adnoc, as well as strengthen access in one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing refining and petrochemical markets,” adds Al-Jaber.
“World energy demand is expected to grow exponentially by 2050, driven in large part by India. Saudi Aramco is proud to partner with Adnoc and RRPCL to help ensure that the world’s fastest-growing economy has secure, reliable energy feedstocks for its long-term prosperity. The Ratnagiri project will meet India’s rising demand for fuels and chemical products while serving the strategic objectives of the partners,” says Amin Nasser, president and CEO of Aramco.
The complex will reportedly be built at two locations at Ratnagiri, with the main production facilities on 14,000 acres in the Babulwadi area and the 1,000-acre storage and port facilities about 15 kilometers away.
By Kartik Kohli
Source: Chemical Week
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