Saudi refinery

Saudi Aramco and Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical Co. officially signed an agreement to set up an equally-owned joint venture for an integrated refinery and petrochemicals project in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia, but they now see total investment costs doubling to USD 8.5 billion, Sumitomo has said. The companies had earlier projected investment costs of USD 4.3 billion, when they were conducting a feasibility study on the project. But rising materials costs, as well as the construction of new power facilities at the complex have boosted the total investment costs, Sumitomo said. The Rabigh project would centre around an ethane-based steam cracker, with capacity to produce 1.3-mil mt/yr of ethylene, and a fluid catalytic cracker able to produce 900,000 mt/yr of propylene. The companies plan to start construction of the complex from the beginning of 2006, with targeting to start operations in the second half of 2008.

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