The expansion of the giant Petro Rabigh petrochemicals complex in Saudi Arabia owned by Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical is now expected to cost SAR32 billion ($8.5 billion), higher than the previous estimates of around $7 billion the joint-venture said on Wednesday and reported by Reuters following a stock exchange filling this week.
The 3,000-acre oil refinery, located in Rabigh, 165 kilometers north of Jeddah on the Red Sea coast utilizes 400,000 barrels per day of crude oil and 1.2 million tons per year of ethane as primary feedstock to produce a variety of refined petroleum products and petrochemical products.
The refinery transferred from Saudi Aramco to Petro Rabigh has mainly been producing 8 million tons of heavy oil, 5.3 million tons of light oil, 3 million tons of naphtha and 2.6 million tons of kerosene annually. This refinery was upgraded to include a high olefin fluid catalytic cracking unit (HOFCC) for converting heavy and light oils to gasoline and other distillates, which added new annual capacities of 2.8 million tons of gasoline and 900,000 tons of propylene, a feedstock for petrochemical products.
The statement did not give any reason for the change in price, but said the project – situated on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast – was still due to come online during 2016. Upon completion of the expansion, Petro Rabigh will have the the capacity to produce 18.4 million tons per year (mpta) of petroleum-based products and 2.4 mpta of ethylene and propylene-based derivatives including thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), methyl methacrylate (MMA) monomer, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) among other products. Demand for its high and quality, attractively priced products is high, and an industrial park adjacent to the complex is expected to drive demand even higher.