Key to Unlocking Regional Petrochemicals Diversification Potential

Saudi Aramco showcases its integrated downstream technology strategy and portfolio at the 10th annual Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA) forum, taking place in Dubai, UAE from November 17 – 19. The Annual Forum, GPCA’s flagship event, is the leading networking event for the petrochemicals and chemicals industry in the Arabian Gulf region. During the three day forum, delegates from some of the world’s biggest petrochemicals and chemical producers, share their perspectives on current industry issues. Since the first meeting in 2006, GPCA annual forum attendance has grown steadily year after year along with the reputation of the event in the global chemical industry. Warren Wilder, VP Chemicals, Saudi Aramco said: “GPCA is a great focal point for our regional industry. In challenging economic times, our industry must work even harder to unlock its growth potential. Across the region and beyond, we now need to embed the collaboration and partnerships necessary for diversification into high-value manufacturing sectors that will sow the seeds of our long-term success.” Saudi Aramco’s Integrated Energy Strategy With a global refining capacity of 5.4million bpd, Saudi Aramco has diversified its portfolio to become an efficient, integrated global energy and chemicals company operating across the entire petroleum and chemicals value-chain. Saudi Aramco’s global footprint in chemicals is well established, having adopted an international partnership and joint venture approach to help build a portfolio that encompasses crude supply, refining, petrochemicals and lubes, right through to closely-linked marketing and distribution channels, backed by world-class technology and innovation. In addition, Saudi Aramco’s downstream strategy is about the conversion of petrochemical commodities and consequently spurring growth in new industries to contribute to Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification and competitiveness. Localization of Saudi Arabia’s energy sector will enhance the Kingdom’s overall competitiveness, helping accelerate industrial growth across many industry sectors and creating thousands of new high-skill, high-value manufacturing jobs for the Kingdom’s growing population. Rapidly Expanding Global Footprint Saudi Aramco’s world-class, integrated chemicals complex projects are changing the landscape of the global petrochemicals industry. In 2011 Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemicals established the Sadara Chemical Company. At Jubail Industrial City in Saudi Arabia, Sadara is constructing the world’s largest chemical complex ever built in a single phase, with 26 integrated world-scale manufacturing plants that will produce more than three million tons of products every year. At a total investment of about US$20 billion, Sadara is on schedule for initial start-up by the end of 2015 and will be the first chemical complex in the GCC region to use naphtha as part of its feedstock, leading to new specialty chemicals plants and new businesses in the Kingdom. In August 2014, the crude oil throughput of the Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Company (SATORP), a joint venture refinery with Total located in Jubail on the east coast of Saudi Arabia, reached the facility’s full design capacity of 400,000 barrels per day. The refinery has a comprehensive array of advanced mild, distillate and fluid catalytic cracker technology to convert heavy crude oil that is especially hard to process into high-value-added low-sulfur gasoline, diesel and jet fuel products, as well as an annual production of 1 million tons of paraxylene, benzene and high-purity propylene. A joint venture with Asia’s largest refiner, Sinopec, YASREF is a 400,000 barrels per day refinery designed to process Arabian heavy crude oil to produce premium transportation fuels such as gasoline and ultra-low-sulfur diesel, as well as liquefied petroleum gases, benzene, sulfur and petroleum coke. YASREF delivered its first shipment of clean diesel fuel in mid-January 2015. Work is well under-way on Phase II of the Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Company (Petro Rabigh) complex expansion, with Sumitomo Chemical Company of Japan. This expansion will add specialty ethylene and propylene-based products by de-bottlenecking the existing steam cracker. The project will also enable conversion of 4,000 kilotons per year of naphtha into higher value aromatic products. In addition, Saudi Aramco’s Fujian Refinery and Petrochemical Company joint venture in China - with ExxonMobil, Sinopec and the Fujian provincial government - successfully processes Saudi Arabian sour crude oil and produces high quality polymer products which are marketed in China by a Saudi Aramco affiliate. Meanwhile Saudi Aramco’s stake in S-Oil’s integrated refinery and petrochemical complex, South Korea’s third largest, has strengthened the company’s foothold in Asia. The recently announced joint venture between Saudi Aramco and the German specialty chemicals company, Lanxess, which is expected to close in the first half of 2016, is seen by Saudi Aramco as a milestone in its pioneering journey to further extend its globally-integrated downstream expansion. Lanxess has a world-class synthetic rubber and elastomer products capability and many of the world’s largest tire and automotive-parts manufacturers are already counted as customers. The JV has a compelling industrial logic for both parties, and Saudi Aramco expects to provide the new JV entity with financial stability, additional scale and resources, continued investment in technology, unrivalled opportunities to integrate with petrochemical facilities, and potential cost-competitive access to reliable feedstock supplies. Interestingly, the Lanxess green tires technology which reduces fuel consumption will complement Saudi Aramco’s two-pronged fuel / engine R&D strategy that is focused on increasing the mileage efficiency of vehicles, and reducing pollutant emissions of future engines.