Aramco outlines Rabigh plans, sets ambitious schedule

25 June 2004
Saudi Aramcois planning an independent power project (IPP) at Rabigh, as part of the estimated $4,300 million programme to develop the kingdom's biggest refinery into a worldscale integrated refining and petrochemicals complex. Japan's Sumitomo Chemical Companyin May signed a memorandum of understanding with Aramco to act as the 50:50 joint venture partner on the Rabigh development (MEED 11:6:04).

'Cogeneration facilities will be needed and there will be a power plant on an IPP basis,' Fayez al-Sharef, manager for new business development at Aramco, told the MEED Gulf Petrochemicals conference on 9 June. 'It will be an IPP because power is not a core business for either Aramco or Sumitomo.'

Aramco has still to determine the specifications and contractual terms for the cogeneration facilities. In December, it signed the key project agreements with a consortium comprising the UK's International Powerand Saudi Ogerto build four IPPs with total capacity of 1,063 MW.

Aramco and Sumitomo have already started work on a joint feasibility study on the Rabigh complex. Work on the front-end engineering and design (FEED) portion is being carried out by UK-based Foster Wheeler Energy, which has been appointed project management services contractor on the programme. According to Al-Sharef, the FEED and the feasibility study, due to take about 12 months, will be immediately followed by a tender for the project's engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) portion.

'Similar projects in other countries have been carried out over much longer periods of time,' said Al-Sharef. 'We plan to do it all in one shot under a continuous process by 2008.'

Aramco will provide 400,000 barrels a day (b/d) of crude oil, 95 million cubic feet a day of ethane and up to 15,000 b/d of butane as feedstock to the expanded complex. The ethane will be pumped in through a new pipeline to be built between Rabigh and Yanbu.

A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current MEED.com package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.

Get Notifications