EXCLUSIVE: Work starts on Aramco’s East-West crude pipeline

10 October 2018
Chinese firm undertaking works to build new pipeline to supplement existing infrastructure transporting Arabian Heavy grade crude

Construction work has started on the pipeline package of Saudi Aramco’s East-West Arabian Heavy (AH) crude transportation upgrade project.

State-owned China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Company (CPPEC) is the main contractor of the first package, having been awarded the contract in February on a lumpsum turnkey basis.

The contractor kicked off the construction phase of the 164 kilometre-long pipeline package earlier in October, says a source close to the project.

“The temporary construction facilities have started to come up and other related works have been started by CPPEC,” the source says.

“It [the construction works] will continue for another one and a half years,” the source says, suggesting that the job is expected to be completed in the first half of 2020.

The new pipeline will add to the existing 1,200 kilometre-long pipeline network that transports AH grade crude from Ju’aymah Tank Farm in Eastern Province’s Ras Tanura area, to the Yanbu crude oil terminal on the Red Sea coast.

CPPEC has in turn sub-contracted Khobar-based SNC-Lavalin Fayez Engineering (SLFE), the local Saudi subsidiary of Canadian contractor SNC-Lavalin, to carry out detailed engineering works on the package.

SLFE has completed nearly 90 per cent of the detailed engineering works, and will complete its job by year-end, the source said.

The other package in Aramco’s AH crude transport pipeline project is the in-plant facilities package, relating to the installation of pumping stations, tank farm, piping stations, and associated facilities.

Detailed engineering on the second package is being done by local Saudi firm Mustang-HDP. Aramco is yet to appoint a main contractor.

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