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Saudi Aramco and Sinopec’s joint venture on schedule

Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company (YASREF), a major Red Sea oil refinery joint venture between Saudi Arabia and China, is scheduled to begin operations on November 2014. Fahad al-Helal, chief executive officer of YASREF, told Reuters that the 400,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery was on schedule although slightly under expected cost. YASREF is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Sinopec. “The refinery will come onstream October-November 2014… on schedule,” Helal said. Construction of the refinery is underway and Helal said the cost will be less than US$10 billion, which is slightly under earlier projections. The refinery will process heavy crude from Saudi Arabia’s Manifa oilfield and will have an output of 900,000 bpd by 2014. It will be able to produce 10 parts per million (ppm) ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. The refinery’s main products will be 3,000 bpd of benzene, 263,000 bpd of diesel fuel, 90,000 bpd of gasoline, 6,200 tons per day of petroleum coke and around 1,200 tons per day of sulfur. Some of the refinery’s output will be used for domestic consumption in the kingdom and the rest will be exported. (May 21, 2012)