Saudi Aramco looks set to meet its commissioning deadline for its $10bn joint venture refinery at Yanbu on the red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia, with operations due to start early in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Aramco owns 62.5 per cent of the Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company, with China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) retaining the other 37.5 per cent.

The refinery will have a capacity of 400,000 barrels a day (b/d) when fully commissioned in mid-2015 and will process Arabian Heavy crude oil.

The product slate is:

  • Diesel – 263,000 b/d
  • Gasoline – 90,000 b/d
  • Petcoke – 6,200 tonnes a day  (t/d)
  • Sulphur – 1,200 mt/d
  • Benzene – 140,000 tonnes a year (t/y)

The US-based oil price tracker Platts said the first shipments would be split between the two shareholders according to their respective stakes in the refinery.

Aramco states that the complex will provide 6,000 direct and indirect jobs. Sinopec is the world’s third-largest refiner of oil behind the US’ ExxonMobil and the UK/Dutch Shell Group. It is already Aramco’s largest crude oil partner and buyer.

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