KBR wins contract for Saudi Arabia’s crude-oil-to-chemicals complex

Article by Adam Duckett

KBR has been named the second project management contractor for the design of Saudi Aramco and SABIC’s crude-oil-to-chemicals complex.

KBR will provide pre-front end engineering design (pre-FEED), front end engineering design (FEED) and programme management services for what the Saudi majors have billed as the world's largest fully integrated crude-oil-to-chemicals complex. Wood was announced as the first PMC winner for the project in March.

The complex is expected to process 400,000 bbl/d of crude oil into around 9m t/y of chemicals and base oils, with operations set to begin at a greenfield site in Saudi Arabia in 2025. The partners have offered little detail on the technology planned for the complex other than to say the process will involve innovative configurations with proven conversion technologies.

Saudi Aramco and SABIC have said it will lead to a fully-integrated petrochemical complex that generates the world’s highest proven yield conversion rate.

Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Al-Nasser said: “This project will achieve a direct conversion rate from crude oil to chemicals of almost 50%, a globally unprecedented rate.”

The move is part of a national push – known as Saudi Vision 2030 – to become less reliant on crude oil, and involves taking significant strides downstream.

Recent moves under Saudi Vision 2030 include agreements signed in April with UOP and Technip FMC worth as much as US$10bn to explore using their technologies to move the Saudi-owned US refiner Motiva Enterprises into petrochemicals.

In March, the Kingdom joined forces with Japan’s Softbank to build the world’s largest solar power project, with plans to spend US$200bn developing 200 GW of capacity in Saudi Arabia by 2030.

Article by Adam Duckett

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