Saudi Aramco advances chemicals strategy with S-Oil expansion project

Aramco and S Oil Signing an MoUSaudi Aramco is advancing its global chemicals growth strategy with the inauguration of S-Oil’s new residue upgrading complex and olefin downstream complex

The new facilities feature the latest refinery technologies, which have raised S-Oil’s petrochemical portion from eight per cent to 13 per cent and includes high-value products such as propylene and gasoline.

Amin H. Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, said, “The inauguration marks a historic moment for both S-Oil and Saudi Aramco. S-Oil serves as a role model for Saudi Aramco’s international downstream strategy and plays an important role by providing the vital energy needed for economic growth in South Korea.”

“These two new facilities will supply high-value products to major Korean industries, whose global brands are part of our everyday lives and rank among the world’s very best in technology, innovation, creativity, and quality,” he added.

The inauguration also included the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two companies to collaborate on a US$6bn Steam Cracker & Olefin Downstream Project expected to be completed by 2024. The new steam cracker will produce ethylene and other basic chemicals out of naphtha and refinery off-gas.

This new agreement supports Saudi Aramco’s plan to increase its global petrochemicals footprint over the next decade. It will further include the deployment of Saudi Aramco’s thermal crude-to-chemicals technology, shifting S-OIL’s focus from ‘oil to chemicals’ to better position the company in the future energy market.

Aramco Overseas Company is a major shareholder in S-Oil which is South Korea’s third-largest refiner.

Saudi Aramco initially invested in S-Oil in 1991, and their relationship continues to grow stronger, with the refining capacity increasing from 90,000 bpd in 1990 to roughly 700,000 bpd in 2018.

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