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                                                                                 
Owner Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company
Country Saudi Arabia
Sector Oil
Value ($m) 10,000
Contractor(s) Daelim
  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
Consultant(s) WorleyParsons
Main contract award 2010
Completion date 2014

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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.

Unit Main contractor Contract value ($m)
Gasoline Block   Daelim 2,500
Offsite & Utilities Bonatti; KBR 1,500
Hydrocracker Daelim 1,500
Coker Block Tecnicas Reunidas 770
Crude Block SK Engineering & Construction 572
Hydrogen Production Unit Air Liquide 450
Storage Tanks Engineering for the Petroleum & Process Industries 400
Solids Handling Techint 350
Offsite & Utilities: Interconnecting System Mohammad al-Mojil Group 216
Offsite Pipelines Punj Lloyd 100
Substations Saudi Services for Electro-Mechanical Works 100
Site Preparation Abdulrahman M al-Shalawi Est 66
Relocation of NGL Pipeline  Rajeh H al-Marri & Sons Company 50
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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