Mega Project of the Year: Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company Refinery

22 June 2016

Supplying both international and domestic markets, Yasref brings together two of the largest companies in the world

Entrant: Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company

Project owner: Saudi Aramco and Sinopec joint venture

Developers: Various

Consultants: KBR, UOP, Chevron Lummus and ConocoPhillips

Architect: KBR

Project management: Saudi Aramco

Financiers: Saudi Aramco and Sinopec


Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company (Yasref) is a joint venture between state oil firm Saudi Aramco, which owns 62.5 per cent, and Sinopec, China’s largest national oil firm, which holds 37.5 per cent.

Yasref operates a world-class full-conversion refinery on the banks of the Red Sea. The facility processes 400,000 barrels a day of crude into gasoline, high-quality diesel and liquefied petroleum gases, as well as by-products including sulphur and petroleum coke for export. The refining complex was designed to predominantly process Arabian heavy crude.  

Located just south of the Suez Canal, Yasref is in a good location to supply both international and domestic markets. The refinery has generated 1,200 direct jobs and some 5,000 indirect jobs through industrial development.

Given this is a project that brings together two of the largest companies in the world – Saudi Aramco and Sinopec – the complex was able to harness the best global technology in designing a single-train system.

Yasref’s delayed coker unit is one of just two in the region and by far the largest. An expansion scheme to allow the facility to produce a high-grade coke used by the aluminium industry is being evaluated. This would allow for the expansion of the region’s manufacturing capability, including the production of automobiles and light-duty trucks.

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