Saudi Aramco augments downstream portfolio

18 July 2019
Saudi Aramco sealed vital deals with S-Oil during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to South Korea in late June

Saudi Aramco has made a major leap towards expanding its international downstream portfolio by signing key deals with South Korean refiner S-Oil.

Aramco, which is the majority shareholder in S-Oil, launched two specialised units within the S-Oil-operated refinery complex in the South Korean city of Ulsan, which has an output capacity of 700,000 barrels a day (b/d).

The residue upgrading and olefin downstream plants will raise S-Oil’s specialty crude products output from 8 per cent to 13 per cent and introduce high-value products such as propylene and gasoline into the firm’s production mix.

Aramco has also committed $6bn for a petrochemicals complex it will build jointly with S-Oil by 2024. The project will feature a steam cracker and olefins producing unit.

The petrochemicals project will draw on feedstock of naptha and refinery off-gases from the Ulsan refining complex. It is estimated to produce 1.5 million tonnes a year (t/y) of ethylene, 500,000 t/y of propylene, various polyolefins categories and other types of basic chemicals.

A significant aspect of the Ulsan petrochemicals project is that it will use Aramco’s patented thermal crude-to-chemicals technology for the first time on a commercial basis.

The agreements with S-Oil are part of Aramco’s objective to boost total refining output from 5.4 million b/d to 8-10 million b/d from its domestic and international operations.

This article has been unlocked to allow non-subscribers to sample MEED’s content. MEED provides exclusive news, data and analysis on the Middle East every day. For access to MEED’s Middle East business intelligence, subscribe here


A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current 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