Yanbu Export Refinery

22 September 2014

The refinery, jointly owned by Saudi Aramco and China Petrochemical Corporation, will have a capacity of 400,000 barrels a day.

Yanbu Export Refinery Project Profile                                                                                 
OwnerYanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company
CountrySaudi Arabia
Value ($m)10,000
 Tecnicas Reunidas
 SK Engineering & Construction
 Air Liquide
 Engineering for the Petroleum & Process Industries
 Mohammad al-Mojil Group
 Punj Lloyd
 Saudi Services for Electro-Mechanical Works
 Abdulrahman M al-Shalawi Est
 Rajeh H al-Marri & Sons Company
Main contract award2010
Completion date2014

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Project description:

Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company (Yasref) is a joint venture of Saudi Aramco and China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) to develop a 400,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) refinery in Yanbu Industrial City, located on the Saudi Arabian coast of the Red Sea.

Developed as a build-own-operate (BOO) project, feedstock for the refinery is Arabian crude, which will be used to produce clean transportation fuels for international and domestic markets, as well as high-value refined products. Final products will be for markets in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the US.

The development has been planned since 2006, when Saudi Aramco and the US’ ConocoPhillips agreed to conduct a detailed evaluation. However, ConocoPhillips subsequently pulled out in April 2010. Aramco decided the project still made commercial sense, reserved the right to use ConocoPhillips’ technology, and pushed ahead with the scheme. There were growing concerns about the cost of the project and in January 2012, Aramco signed a deal with Sinopec to develop the facility. Under the agreement, Aramco holds 62.5 per cent of the company, with Sinopec taking a 37.5 per cent stake.

The scheme was originally scheduled for completion in June 2014, with a view to be operational by September and commercial shipments starting from the fourth quarter of 2014. However, ConocoPhillips decision to pull out could delay the project, although Aramco still has a date of September 2014 for commercial operations to begin.

Technology at the plant will be licensed from ConocoPhillips and US firms Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) and Honeywell subsidiary UOP.

In August 2009, Italy’s Bonatti and the US’ KBR won the engineering and procurement contract for utilities and water-treatment plants, in a deal worth $1.5bn. KBR also awarded the front-end engineering and design (feed) on the refinery.

In 2010, South Korea’s Daelim was awarded the $2.5bn contract for the gasoline block at the refinery and the $1.5bn contract to build the 124,000 b/d hydrocracker, using CLG technology. Both were scheduled for completion in the first half of 2014.

UnitMain contractorContract value ($m)
Gasoline Block  Daelim2,500
Offsite & UtilitiesBonatti; KBR1,500
Coker BlockTecnicas Reunidas770
Crude BlockSK Engineering & Construction572
Hydrogen Production UnitAir Liquide450
Storage TanksEngineering for the Petroleum & Process Industries400
Solids HandlingTechint350
Offsite & Utilities: Interconnecting SystemMohammad al-Mojil Group216
Offsite PipelinesPunj Lloyd100
SubstationsSaudi Services for Electro-Mechanical Works100
Site PreparationAbdulrahman M al-Shalawi Est66
Relocation of NGL Pipeline Rajeh H al-Marri & Sons Company50
Source: MEED Projects

According to Saudi Aramco, the project scope is as follows:

  • Crude Distillation Unit (400,000 b/d)
  • CLG Hydrocracker (124,000 b/d)
  • UOP Diesel Hydrotreater (177,000 b/d)
  • UOP Naphtha Hydrotreater (85,000 b/d)
  • UOP Continuous Catalytic Reformer (84,000 b/d)
  • UOP Isomerisation Unit (20,000 b/d)
  • Benzene Extraction Unit (20,000 b/d)
  • ConocoPhillips Delayed Coker Unit (117,000 b/d)
  • Hydrogen Generation Unit (262 million cubic feet a day)
  • Sulfur Recovery Units (3,400 tonnes a day) (t/d)

Refined products will include:

  • Diesel (263,000 b/d)
  • Gasoline (90,000 b/d)
  • Petroleum Coke (6,200 t/d)
  • Pelletised Sulphur (1,200 t/d)
  • Benzene (140,000 t/d)

(Source: Saudi Aramco)

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