Rabigh Phase II Project, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Rabigh phase ii

The Rabigh Phase II Project involves the expansion of Petro Rabigh's Refining and Petrochemical Complex located approximately 150km north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The feasibility study for the expansion project started in April 2009. Construction is underway and the project is expected to be commissioned in the first half of 2016.

"The plant is set to produce an estimated 300,000t of ethylene per year."

The overall investment for the project is estimated to be SAR30bn (approximately $8bn). The project is expected to generate about 1,200 direct jobs.

Project ownership will be transferred from the founding shareholders Sumitomo Chemical and Saudi Aramco to Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Company (Petro Rabigh) by the end of 2014.

Rabigh Phase II Project details and processing technologies

The project will witness the expansion of the existing ethane cracker, construction of an aromatic complex and an ethylene cracker debottlenecking plant. It will further enable the complex to produce 30 million cubic feet per day of ethane and three million tonnes of naphtha per year, which will be used as feedstock to produce a variety of petrochemical products. The plant is set to produce an estimated 300,000t of ethylene per year.

Production facilities will also be constructed for petrochemical products such as ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), methyl methacrylate (MMA) monomer, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), low density polyethylene / ethylene vinyl acetate (LDPE / EVA), cumene, phenol, superabsorbent polymer (SAP), caprolactam, nylon-6 and polyols. Some of these products will be manufactured for the first time in the country.

The 384,000t per annum cumene plant will implement the proprietary cumene technology of Badger Licensing, a joint venture between Badger Technology Holdings (affiliate of Technip) and Alkylation Licensing (affiliate of ExxonMobil Chemical Company). The phenol plant, on the other hand, will implement a technology licensed from KBR.

Contractors involved

GS Engineering & Construction is the general contractor for the project. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the naptha reformer unit and the aromatics complex was awarded to Saipem.

The EPC contract for the ethylene plant was awarded to JGC Gulf International (JGC Gulf) in October 2012. The company also served as the project management services contractor and carried out the feasibility study for the project. The basic engineering package and related services for the feasibility study were rendered by KBR.


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Petrofac has been awarded the EPC contracts for the tank farms and common utilities. Cape has been chosen to carry out the scaffolding, painting, insulation and fireproofing works.

The civil, underground piping and earthing works have been subcontracted to Eastern Trading and Contracting (ETE) by the main contractor Snamprogetti Saudi Arabia.

Metso will supply its patented Neles rotary and globe valves, Jamesbury valves, control, on-off and safety valves and its safety solenoid technology for the expansion project.

COFIMCO has been contracted to supply 24 of its large diameter Axial fans using its 35F blade and FRP blade shaft, to be installed within the cooling towers at the site. The fans will have about 10,800m³ per hour of cooling capacity.

The incineration system for combustion and decomposition of harmful organic compounds in wastewater generated from the MMA production processes will be supplied by Tsukishima Kankyo Engineering (TSKE), an affiliate of Tsukishima Kikai.

NRI Energy Technology