Aramco in CC2C Pact with Axens/Technip FMC
Saudi Aramco, through its wholly owned subsidiary Saudi Aramco Technologies, has signed an agreement with Axens and TechnipFMC to accelerate the development and commercialization of its catalytic crude-to-chemicals (CC2C) technology.
CC2C technology converts crude oil directly to chemicals, eliminating several energy-intensive parts of the process and creating high-value product streams that produce larger quantities of chemicals with fewer emissions.
Aramco said CC2C could potentially significantly increase the efficiency and yield of chemicals production, converting more than 60% of a barrel of crude oil into chemicals.
The CC2C process builds on the success of the high-severity fluid catalytic cracking (HS-FCC) technology that Aramco has co-developed with King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals and JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy. A 3,000 barrel per day semi-commercial HS-FCC plant went into operation at JXTG’s Mizushima refinery in Japan in 2011.
The Saudi group, Axens and TechnipFMC are all members of the HS-FCC Alliance, with both engineering contractors also exclusive licensors of HS-FCC technology, which is said to produce four times more light olefins (propylene and butene) and higher octane gasoline than conventional FCC units.
Amin Nasser, Aramco’s CEO, said the agreement was another milestone in the company’s effort to develop groundbreaking technology that maximizes the value of each barrel of crude oil.
“According to the IEA [International Energy Agency], an additional 4 million barrel per day of crude oil will have to be converted into petrochemicals by 2035 to meet the demand. This is a unique opportunity to create this next-generation technology that will be of great interest to the market for converting crude oil into petrochemicals,” said Jean Sentenac, Axens’s chairman and CEO.
Aramco is developing a $20 billion crude-to-chemicals complex in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, which will process 400,000 barrels per day of oil. The company is expecting to make a final investment decision on the project by the end of 2019 with the complex anticipated to start up in 2025.