MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia's PetroRabigh has started full operations at its expanded ethane cracker, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.
The expansion will increase ethane processing capacity from 95 million standard cubic feet/day (scfd) to 125 million scfd; boosting capacity to 1.6 MMtpy.
The start of the expanded ethane cracker will increase the company's revenue by an estimated 750 million riyals (USD200 million) for 2016 and depending on the feedstock availability, the firm said in a bourse statement.
As MRC informed before, in April 2015, Rabigh Refining & Petrochemical Co. (Petro Rabigh) received ownership of the Rabigh Phase II project from Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical, major shareholders in Petro Rabigh, and will now integrate the project into Petro Rabigh's existing refining and petrochemical complex in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia.
The Rabigh II project, expected to cost about USD 8.1-billion, involves expanding an existing ethane cracker and adding production of ethylene propylene rubber, thermoplastic polyolefins, methyl methacrylate monomer, polymethyl methacrylate, low-density polyethylene/ethylene vinyl acetate, paraxylene/benzene, cumene and phenol/acetone. Production facilities are expected to begin operations "one after another, beginning in the first half of 2016," Sumitomo said.
PetroRabigh, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Japan's Sumitomo Chemical, has an annual output capacity of 18 million tonnes of refined products and 2.4 million tonnes of petrochemicals. Thus, the complex currently has a cracker to produce 1.3-million t/y of ethylene and 900,000 t/y of propylene, as well as downstream production of polyethylene, polypropylene, propylene oxide, ethylene glycol and butene-1.