‘This project is of absolute importance to ENOC,’ group chief executive and board member Hussain Sultan told MEED on 23 November. ‘It will allow us to operate the existing facility at full capacity of 120,000 barrels a day [b/d]. Our naphtha end product will be significantly improved as it will have very low sulphur content, which commands a higher premium. And it will enable us to produce gasoline for the first time and meet our local demand.’

The phase 2 project involves the installation of a 70,0000-b/d hydrotreater, a continuous catalytic reformer (CCR), associated works and an upgrade to existing facilities.

The existing refinery, built by Paris-based Technip, was commissioned in 1999. It centres on two condensate splitters – one to process sour condensate and the other to handle sweet condensate. ‘The issue we have had is that sweet condensate is not readily available in the market, which has meant that mostly we have only been able to operate one splitter,’ Sultan said. ‘Phase 2 will allow us to operate both columns on sour condensate, supplies of which are increasing.’

In addition to naphtha, the refinery produces liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), jet fuel, diesel and fuel oil for the domestic and international markets. Condensate feedstock is supplied by regional and international companies.