Sector News

Total revives plans to expand petchems operations in Saudi Arabia

October 14, 2015
News

Total and its partner Saudi Aramco are interested in expanding their Saudi Aramco Total Refining & Petrochemical (Satorp) joint venture at Al Jubail.

Jean-Jacques Mosconi, senior v.p./refining and petrochemicals for Mideast and Asia, says, “Total remains interested in petrochemicals expansion at the Satorp complex but, to launch the front-end engineering design study, we need gas allocations and we are working on that.” This is a revival of a plan, which Total has been pursuing for the Satorp jv for some time. Aramco has 62.5% and Total 37.5% in Satorp. The plans would involve construction of an ethylene complex and include production of linear alpha olefins, poly alpha olefins and elastomers.

Satorp operates a 400,000-bbl/day export refinery and aromatics complex. The aromatics complex is designed to produce 700,000 m.t./year of para-xylene and 140,000 m.t./year of benzene. The refinery also produces 200,000 m.t./year of polymer-grade propylene, part of which is supplied to Advanced Petrochemical Co. to produce polypropylene.

Five years ago Total and Aramco said they were in discussions to build a multi-billion dollar cracker project at Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Feedstock constraints have hindered development of the project then. However, Aramco is on a mission to become a leading energy and chemicals producer under the so-called ATP strategy. The company, in addition to Satorp, is a jv partner in Sadara with Dow Chemical and in Petro Rabigh, an alliance with Sumitomo Chemical, both undergoing massive expansions. Aramco has also acquired a 50% stake in Lanxess’s synthetic rubber business, increased its stake in S-Oil, a major refiner and aromatics producer in South Korea, and has a major presence in petchems in China. It is also developing a process to produce chemicals directly from crude oil. In addition, Aramco is early stages of a $20-billion refinery and petchems project at Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, senior E&C sources tell CW.

By Natasha Alperowicz

Source: Chemical Week

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