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Saudi Aramco-SABIC crude oil to chemicals project moves forward

Saudi Aramco-SABIC crude oil to chemicals project moves forward
Pictured signing a ceremonial safety pledge at the KBR kickoff meeting are Fahad E. Al-Helal, vice president of Saudi Aramco; Stuart Bradie, president and CEO of KBR, and Anas Kentab executive vice president of SABIC, COTC project. Photo courtesy of Saudi Aramco.

With startup in 2025, the fully integrated Crude Oil to Chemicals (COTC) complex project of Saudi Aramco and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) is on track to become the largest of its kind in the world.  Saudi Aramco and Saudi Basic Industries Corp., who are partners on this giga-project, has awarded a contract to KBR, a global leader in project management and engineering services, to develop a part of the COTC complex.

KBR will provide the front-end engineering and design for the downstream petrochemicals and chemicals component within the COTC master complex. The scope includes engineering studies, infrastructure planning and development for both of the polymer and glycol units, along with the aromatics complex, the COTC master plot plan, and offsite utilities.

The complex is expected to process 400,000 barrels per day of Arabian Light crude oil, which will produce approximately nine million tons of chemicals and nine million tons of fuels per year. Also notable, it is projected to achieve a direct conversion rate from crude oil to chemicals of up to 50%, which is unprecedented globally.

The Crude Oil to Chemicals project will become a major contributor to Saudi Vision 2030, enabling a new era of industrial diversification, job creation, and technology development in the Kingdom.

The KBR project management contract is the second that Saudi Aramco and SABIC have awarded for the COTC project. Wood, also a leading project management and engineering firm, was granted the first contract to provide engineering and design for the refining components, mixed feed steam cracker, on-site utilities, interface and site integration, and selection of technology providers.

“We are counting on the long-standing relationship between Saudi Aramco and SABIC on one side, and KBR on the other, to develop this preliminary engineering package for the world-class complex,” says Fahad E. Al-Helal, vice president of Project Management.

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