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Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo to expand petrochemical complex in Rabigh
Jun 07, 2012 (Datamonitor via COMTEX) -- Copyright (C) 2012 Datamonitor. All rights reserved

Saudi Arabian Oil Company, or Saudi Aramco, together with its partner Sumitomo Chemical Company, have made significant progress on the feasibility of the Rabigh Phase II Project, or Rabigh II, and will proceed to implement the expansion of a petrochemical complex in Rabigh on the west coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Rabigh II will complement Saudi Aramco's existing petrochemical investment portfolio especially in light of the Rabigh I petroleum refining and petrochemical production complex, currently owned by Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Company (Petro Rabigh), a joint stock company initially founded by Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical.

The Rabigh II feasibility study and front-end engineering design (FEED) work were jointly undertaken and funded by Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo. As part of the next phase implementation of Rabigh II, Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical are finalizing various project milestones, including contracts for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and other project-related agreements, as well as project financing.

Utilizing technologies from Sumitomo Chemical and other companies, Rabigh II will explore maximization of existing synergies, the utilization of Saudi manpower, and development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's conversion industries.

"Our long standing partnership with Sumitomo Chemical continues to make further inroads with Rabigh II representing a milestone in Saudi Aramco's downstream portfolio expansion and diversification strategy," said Khalid Al-Falih, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco. "Both sponsors are thankful to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources for their continued support for Rabigh's expansion projects, and through which we endeavor to create further value for our stakeholder communities in the Kingdom with new businesses, entrepreneurial and job opportunities."

Rabigh II's development will include a new aromatics complex and an expanded facility to process 30 million standard cubic feet per day of ethane and approximately 3 million tons per year of naphtha as feedstock to produce a variety of value-added petrochemical products. The total project investment is currently projected to reach approximately $7 billion.

The project is expected to begin operations in the first half of 2016. It is envisaged that Petro Rabigh will be approached in due time and presented with the opportunity to serve as the project company for Rabigh II subject to Petro Rabigh's independent evaluation of the project feasibility results and separate corporate and regulatory approval procedure.

Rabigh II's main products will be ethylene propylene rubber (EPDM), thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), methyl methacrylate (MMA) monomer, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), low density polyethylene/ ethylene vinyl acetate (LDPE/EVA), para-xylene/benzene, cumene and phenol/acetone.

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