Saudi Aramco assumed full control of the Rabigh refinery in June 1995, ending a 50-50 JV with Petrola of Greece. This gave Saudi Aramco freedom to go ahead with an expensive upgrade, as Petrola had been against the project for years. Saudi Aramco replaced the top management of the refinery soon after taking over. (Petrola used to sell its share of the output to the Mediterranean market as well as to refiners in Singapore and Australia).
The ethane feedstock will be pumped from the Eastern Province through the East-West pipeline, a twin-pipe crude oil system, with the smaller (48-inch) line being converted to carry gas in an $800m project. A spur line will be built to Rabigh.
EPC contractors submitted bids on Sept. 17 to Saudi Aramco for the pipeline package on the Rabigh refinery conversion project. Each contractor has submitted a base price and an alternate offer. The base price is for the engineering and installation works, while the alternate offer includes the line pipe. The bidders include Saipem and Techint of Italy, Suedrohrbau of the Netherlands, Turkey's Tekfen, Lebanon's Contracting & Trading Co. (CAT) and local firms Faysal M Qahtani Est. (FMQ) and Tamimi Construction. The lump-sum turnkey (LSTK) contract is estimated to be worth $100-200m. The successful bidder will build parallel ethane and butane pipelines over 212 km, between the integrated Rabigh refinery/petrochemicals plant and the existing Yanbu' NGL facility. The contract also entails an access route on the entire pipeline as well as numerous related facilities including compressors, duty pumps and a 13.8-kV substation. UK-based Foster Wheeler Energy is the project management services (PMS) contractor. A contract award is set for late October, with the project due to be completed by the second quarter of 2008.
March 23, 2009 Aramco
Announces Projects to Develop Industrial Sector, Human Resources
In a speech during the “2009 Local Content Forum: Opportunities and Challenges,” held at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Eastern Province, Saudi Aramco’s president and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih mentioned that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) will soon be signed with Sumitomo Chemical for the Petro Rabigh expansion. He also announced the establishment of an industrial training center that will be located in al-Hasa, and another to support the oil services based in Dammam.
The message he delivered to the group was that the current global financial crisis proved that serious and bold investments in establishing qualified institutions and companies, particularly manufacturing companies, is a smart option that provides lucrative, low-risk returns in the long run.
Al-Falih reassured the local industrial sector that, despite the current tough global economic conditions and the challenges faced by the energy sector, the Kingdom still holds on to its long-term investments in expanding its oil and gas sectors and its programs to enhance local and global energy supplies. Saudi Aramco’s numerous needs, he said, are similar to those of other major sectors such as the petrochemicals, water and electricity sectors.
Al-Falih also called for using the slackening periods witnessed by the global economy to formulate future investment strategies and prepare for the coming economic expansion periods.
He also called on the private sector to focus on accelerating the development of oil and gas services as well as local industries to turn the Kingdom from a net importer to a leading exporter of oil and gas-related goods, services and technologies.
Al-Falih argued for utilizing the opportunities afforded by the huge domestic investments being made by the Kingdom, the great improvement in its investment environment, its remarkable advance on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, and its solid national economy that continues to attract investments during the current period of global economic contraction and enables the government to continue its developmental and infrastructure expansion projects.
On this occasion, Al-Falih announced that Saudi Aramco plans to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in the near future with Sumitomo Chemical for the second phase of the Petro Rabigh Complex (Petro Rabigh II). He also spoke of the huge investment the company will make through its upcoming petrochemical project in Ras Tanura ? a partnership with Dow Chemical of the USA. This investment will amount to approximately SR 100 billion when completed, and will include the construction of integrated industrial cities where the private sector can invest in conversion and support industries.
Al-Falih also announced two new major initiatives by Saudi Aramco in the field of vocational training, in partnership with the General Organization for Technical Educational and Vocational Training (GOTEVT). The first involves the establishment of the National Industrial Training Institute in al-Hasa, a new training institute similar to those operated by the company. The company will offer advice on the center’s design as well as provide land with an area totaling 365,000 square meters for the construction of the center which will features classrooms and laboratories that can accommodate 2,000 trainees. The second initiative Al-Falih announced was for the Saudi Technical Petroleum Services Institute in Dammam, in partnership with the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, for which the company will provide technical support.
The two institutes, Al-Falih said, aim to build national expertise in the areas of exploration and production as well as various other industries and to develop teaching staff and curricula in the areas of oil exploration and production and quality control. The company plans to utilize those two important facilities, not only in training its own employees, but also in creating highly-qualified Saudi employees to serve the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors in general.
This, Al-Falih said, is an example of what the private sector can accomplish through joint investment in the construction of institutes that help develop the private sector’s business. Al-Falih uncovered more initiatives in the area of developing the Kingdom’s human resources.
He expressed his gratitude for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Eastern Province for inviting him to this Forum which was held under the auspices of HRH Prince Muhammad ibn Fahd ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz, Amir of the Eastern Province. Al-Falih received an honorary plaque from HE Dr. Khalid as-Sulayman, deputy minister of Commerce and Industry for Industry Affairs and the session’s moderator, in recognition of Saudi Aramco’s sponsorship and active participation in the Forum’s activities.