PetroRabigh refinery upgrades near completion

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, July 21 -- Rabigh Refining & Petrochemical (PetroRabigh), a joint venture of Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemicals, plans to complete the $10 billion upgrades to its 400,000 b/d refinery and petrochemical complex in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia, in the fourth quarter.

The project will raise output of transportation fuel and make the refinery the basis of a complex producing 2.4 million tonnes/year of petrochemical solids and liquids, along with large volumes of gasoline and other products (OGJ, Mar. 13, 2006, Newsletter).

Upgrades to the facility, originally built by the joint venture partners in 2005, will add a 60,000 b/d gasoline refining unit, a 200,000 b/d vacuum distillation unit, a 92,000 b/d catalytic cracking unit, and a 26,000 b/d alkylation unit.

The refinery also will see the addition of an ethane cracker capable of producing 1.25 million tonnes/year of ethylene as well as a gas processing plant that will produce 900,000 tonnes/year of propylene.

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