Japan’s JGC Corporation has won an estimated $100m deal to build an ultra-low sulphur diesel unit at the Jubail refinery on the east coast of Saudi Arabia.

The company was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deal by the joint venture partners on the scheme, Saudi Aramco and UK/Dutch Shell Group, on 1 February. The project is being overseen by the partners’ joint venture company Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery Company (Sasref).

The Sasref refinery, which is supplied with Arabian Light crude by Aramco, produces 305,000 barrels a day (b/d) of gasoline products.

JGC’s project covers the construction of a diesel hydrocracker, a hydrogen processing unit, sulphur recovery and sour water treatment units, reactors, separators and related facilities.

The Sasref EPC tender follows a decision by Saudi Aramco Mobil Refinery Company (Samref) in April 2009 to award a $400m contract to Australia’s WorleyParsons to cut the sulphur content of the gasoline produced at its 400,000-b/d Yanbu refinery.

Aramco also plans to roll out ultra-low sulphur diesel facilities at its Riyadh and Jeddah refineries by 2012.

Aramco has embarked on the multi-billion-dollar scheme to reduce sulphur content to meet US environmental regulations on petrol imports that come into force in 2013 (MEED 28:3:08).

Gulf states have progressively introduced changes to sulphur levels over the past few years as the region slowly moves into line with the US’ tough new limits on sulphur dioxide emissions.