Aramco Approves Project Plans

21.08.2018 -

Saudi Aramco has approved two major projects – one in Saudi Arabia and one in the US.

According to the energy giant’s weekly in-house magazine, the Arabian Sun, Aramco’s board of directors has given its approval to the joint venture refinery and petrochemicals project with Total, as well as funding for the front-end engineering and design (FEED). The board also approved a funding request for a capacity expansion at US subsidiary, Motiva Enterprises.

Aramco and Total announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in April to build a $5 billion petrochemical complex in Jubail, integrated downstream of their Satorp joint venture refinery. The complex will comprise a mixed-feed steam cracker producing 1.5 million t/y of ethylene, which will feed downstream units. A start-up date has not been disclosed.

With regard to Motiva, the US company signed two MoUs in April with TechnipFMC and Honeywell UOP to study potential petrochemical projects using each company’s technology.

One of the agreements relates to an evaluation of TechnipFMC’s mixed-feed ethylene technologies for a cracker, while the second enables Motiva to examine the use of Honeywell UOP’s aromatics extraction and production processes for benzene and PX plants on the US  Gulf Coast.

Aramco took full ownership of Motiva’s refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, in May 2017. The facility was formerly part of its 50:50 jv with Shell. The Saudi company plans to invest $18 billion in Motiva during the next five years to increase refining capacity and expand into chemicals.