Aramco, Sumitomo Chemical select JGC for Rabigh II study

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, June 24 -- Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd., following their earlier memorandum of understanding, have selected JGC Corp. as the project management services contractor to conduct a planned feasibility study for the development of the Rabigh Phase II Project.

The two firms said the Rabigh II project represents “a major expansion” of the existing Rabigh I petroleum refining and petrochemical production complex that was recently commissioned by the Rabigh Refining & Petrochemical Co.

The firms said two project management services contracts have been awarded for the feasibility study: an out-of-Kingdom contract awarded to JGC and an in-Kingdom contract awarded to JGC Gulf International Ltd.

Aramco and Sumitomo said they will complete the feasibility study by third quarter 2010. Once the project is proven viable, Petro Rabigh will be invited to decide on the implementation of the Rabigh II project.

The project partners said that Rabigh II “will produce a diverse slate of petrochemicals, most of which will be new to the Kingdom, to complement and strengthen the position of Petro Rabigh as a major producer of refined products, petrochemical and specialty chemicals.”

In April, Aramco and Sumitomo signed an MOU for the Phase II development of the $10.3 billion Petro Rabigh petrochemical joint venture.

The MOU called for feasibility study to assess investments needed to expand Petro Rabigh's existing ethane cracker for an additional 30 MMscfd of feedstock ethane, to build a new aromatics complex using about 3 million tonnes/year of naptha, and to construct other petrochemical units (OGJ Online, Apr. 20, 2009).

The Rabigh Refining & Petrochemical Co. began full-scale operations on Apr. 8, producing polyethylene and four other general-purpose resins for China and other Asian markets.

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