Petro Rabigh joint venture moves on to phase 2

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Petro Rabigh, the joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical, has moved to the next round of its phase 2 expansion which includes a new aromatics facility and a number of value-added derivatives.

Construction tenders for seven packages have been issued and bidding is due to close on 1 October. Tenders for three more packages have yet to be issued.

A final decision will be made by the end of this year and contracts are likely to be awarded in early 2012. The project is estimated to cost US$6-8 billion and is scheduled to be finished by Q1 2015.

The project involves expanding the 1.3mn tonnes/year cracker by 300,000 tonnes/year, thanks to an additional 30m scf/day ethane allocation from Saudi Aramco.

The aromatics complex, based on 3mn tonnes/year of naphtha, will house a paraxylene (PX) plant of 800,000-850,000 tonnes/year and a benzene unit with a capacity of 200,000-400,000 tonnes/year.

Derviative units listed in a memorandum of understanding signed in 2009 included MMA, PMMA, low density polyethylene (LDPE), ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), caprolactam, polyols, cumene, phenol, acrylic acid, superabsorbent polymers (SAP) and nylon 6

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