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Wood awarded contract for $20bn crude oil to chemicals complex in Saudi Arabia

EBR Staff Writer Published 09 March 2018

UK-based Wood Group has been awarded a contract by Saudi Aramco and petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) to develop the $20bn fully integrated crude oil to chemicals (COTC) complex in Saudi Arabia.

The facility, which will have a capacity to process 400,000 barrels per day of crude oil, is expected to be the largest crude oil to chemicals complex in the world.

Scheduled to be commissioned in 2025, the COTC complex will be equipped to produce approximately 9 million tons of chemicals and base oils annually.

Under the contract, Wood will be responsible for providing front end engineering design (FEED) and project management services during the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) phase of the COTC complex.

The contract scope primarily includes the finalization of the project scope as well as selection of technology providers. It also includes updating project economics.

Saudi Aramco president and CEO Amin Al-Nasser said: “This is an important milestone in a partnership that we are proud of between Saudi Aramco and Sabic; a partnership that is in line with Saudi Aramco’s strategy for business integration, adding value and tackling global growth opportunities in chemicals.

“It is also important to mention that this project will achieve a direct conversion rate from crude oil to chemicals of almost 50%, a globally unprecedented rate.

“This offers the Kingdom solid opportunities to produce chemicals as a feedstock as part of Saudi Aramco’s efforts to maximize return on investments in hydrocarbon resources.”

The contract follows the signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) in November 2017 between SABIC and Saudi Aramco to jointly develop mega-project, which is expected to help reduce the country’s reliance on crude.

Sabic CEO and vice-chairman Yousef Al-Benyan said: “I am very happy and optimistic to see the timely delivery of this key milestone in the strategic COTC project, which through an innovative configuration will generate the world's highest proven yield conversion rate of oil to chemicals in a competitive and sustainable way.”

Al-Nasser added: “The complex will be capable of maximizing chemical yield, recycling byproducts, optimizing resources and driving efficiencies of scale.”

Sabic and Saudi Aramco are planning to equally share the investment costs in the project.

Image: Officials from Sabic, Wood and Saudi Aramco. Photo: courtesy of Saudi Arabian Oil Co.