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SAUDI ARABIA - The Jeddah Refinery.

Modernisation of this plant had been considered since the mid-1990s, when a state-owned refining and distribution company, Samarec, put forward an $8 bn proposal to upgrade and expand all the domestic refineries. But Samarec was eventually absorbed by Saudi Aramco Saudi Aramco, the state-owned national oil company of Saudi Arabia, is the largest oil corporation in the world and the world's largest in terms of proven crude oil reserves and production. . In 1996, one of the Jeddah refinery's 45,000 b/d crude oil distillation distillation, process used to separate the substances composing a mixture. It involves a change of state, as of liquid to gas, and subsequent condensation. The process was probably first used in the production of intoxicating beverages.  units was put out of action, cutting its useable capacity to 45,000 b/d. A contract was awarded in March 1994 to ACEC ACEC American Council of Engineering Companies (formerly American Consulting Engineers Council)
ACEC American Consulting Engineers Council (now American Council of Engineering Companies) 
, the local unit of Stone & Webster, to provide detailed designs for upgrading the plant's FCC (1) (Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC, The U.S. government agency that regulates interstate and international communications including wire, cable, radio, TV and satellite. The FCC was created under the U.S. . In late October 1994, the Dammam-based Mohammed al-Moajil Group got the contract to upgrade and recondition re·con·di·tion  
tr.v. re·con·di·tioned, re·con·di·tion·ing, re·con·di·tions
To restore to good condition, especially by repairing, renovating, or rebuilding.
 the FCC.

This plant is 75% owned by Saudi Aramco and the rest is owned by the private sector. It came on stream in 1968 with capacity of 12,000 b/d. It was developed initially by private businessmen grouped in the Saudi Arabian Refinery Co. (Sarco). But before the plant was completed the Jeddah Oil Refinery Co. was created by royal decree (see Vol. 57, DT No. 14).

The refinery feeds an adjacent lube oil plant. But since its construction, the refinery has been surrounded by a rapidly growing city and now it poses a serious environmental problem. Saudi Aramco has considered proposals to close or relocate both the refinery and the lube oil plant.

Saudi Aramco Mobil Refinery (Samref): A 50-50 JV with ExxonMobil, Samref is an export refinery with a capacity of 400,000 b/d located at Yanbu'. It produces top quality gasoil/diesel and other premium fuels. Its original design capacity was 250,000 b/d. Samref has upgraded and expanded its units, in a programme which will eventually raise its design capacity to 450,000 b/d. The project will include a propylene propylene /pro·pyl·ene/ (pro´pi-len) a gaseous hydrocarbon, CH3CHdbondCH2.

propylene glycol  a colorless viscous liquid used as a humectant and solvent in pharmaceutical preparations.

The refinery came on stream in mid-1984 and was inaugurated in September that year. Originally a JV between Petromin and Mobil, called Pemref, the state's 50% came under Saudi Aramco's control in 1993 after the absorption of Samarec (see in Vol. 57, No. 14).

The refinery's 79,000 b/d catalytic cracker catalytic cracker
An oil refinery unit in which the cracking of petroleum takes place in the presence of a catalyst.

catalytic cracker
 went down in late July 2003 which prompted Samref to shut a 43,000 b/d reformer for safety reasons. The problem caused Saudi Aramco to import unleaded gasoline gasoline or petrol, light, volatile mixture of hydrocarbons for use in the internal-combustion engine and as an organic solvent, obtained primarily by fractional distillation and "cracking" of petroleum, but also obtained from natural gas, by  from the Rotterdam spot market. Spot prices of unleaded gasoline and low-sulphur gasoil/diesel rose as a result. But the units were reopened in August 2003. This refinery has been the source of clear diesel and other fuels to Europe, with some of its output going to the US market.
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Publication:APS Review Downstream Trends
Geographic Code:7SAUD
Date:Oct 3, 2005
Previous Article:SAUDI ARABIA - The Yanbu' Refinery.
Next Article:SAUDI ARABIA - Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery (Sasref).

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