Saudi Aramco has allocated $4.8 billion to set up and operate a new oil refinery in the Kingdom’s western region of Yanbu, according to a statement by the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu. The project, at the Yanbu Industrial City on the Red Sea coast, will vastly increase Saudi Arabia’s refining capacity.
The new refinery will have a capacity of 400,000 barrels per day (BPD) of petroleum products, and will create some 750 jobs. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2007, the statement said.
“The project will contribute to the development and progress of the industrial town of Yanbu in the west of the Kingdom,” the statement said. “This is one of the projects at the Yanbu-II industrial city launched by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz a few months ago, and it is considered one of the largest in the Western region.” A 400-hectare site has already been allocated.
The announcement on the new refinery follows a statement by the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi – reported by the Kingdom’s English language newspaper Arab News – who said the Kingdom was committed to increasing its production from 11 million to 15 million bpd.
He said the country had plans to construct export refineries to process heavy and sour crude oils. Saudi Arabia has eight refineries with a current capacity of around 1.75 million barrels per day.