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Aramco, TotalEnergies to build $11bn petrochemical complex

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Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Aramco) and TotalEnergies have taken a final investment decision for the construction of an $11-billion petrochemical facility in Saudi Arabia.

The “Amiral” complex will be owned, operated, and integrated with the existing 460,000 barrels per day Satorp refinery, which is 62.5% owned by Aramco 62.5%, and 37.5% owned by TotalEnergies.

In a statement 15 Dec, the two sides said the petrochemical facility will enable Satorp to convert internally produced refinery off-gases and naphtha into higher value chemicals, helping to advance Aramco’s “liquids to chemicals” strategy.

Construction work on the site is scheduled to begin during the first quarter of 2023 with commercial operation targeted to start in 2027.

The complex will comprise of a mixed feed cracker capable of producing 1.65 million tonnes per annum of ethylene, and will include two polyethylene units using ‘advanced dual loop technology’ codeveloped by TotalEnergies and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LLC.

The facility will also have a butadiene extraction unit and undisclosed “other associated derivatives units”.

Eventually, the joint statement said, the complex will provide feedstock to other petrochemical and speciality chemical plants, located in the Jubail industrial area.

The downstream projects, it went on to say, will support the establishment of key manufacturing industries such automotive parts and tires in the region.

In 2020, the two partners signed a memorandum of understading with Japanese oil and gas and chemical company JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. for the construction of an ethylidene norbornene (ENB) plant the Amiral complex.

Under the MoU, JXTG is investing in a 23 kilotonne per annum ENB plant, which is an important component in the manufacture of ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM).

EPDM is an advanced heat and weather resistant synthetic rubber used primarily in the automotive and construction industries. 

Source : European Rubber Journal