Aramco plans to convert Jiddah refinery into terminal
Saudi Aramco has discontinued crude processing operations at its 77,000-b/d Jiddah refinery along the Red Sea coast to convert the industrial complex into a distribution centre for petroleum products.
The decision to shutter the 50-year old refinery – which accounted for about 2.7% of the kingdom’s total refining capacity – comes as part of the company’s broader strategic objectives of maintaining product supplies for distribution in the region while continuing to improve economic and environmental performance of its operations, Aramco said.
Alongside aging equipment at the complex which was nearing the end of its lifespan, the refinery’s shutdown also resulted from the plant’s nearby locale to residential areas, which prevented Aramco from expanding operations at the manufacturing site, said Al-Judaimi, the company’s vice-president of downstream operations.
Aramco joint ventures Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company Ltd’s recently commissioned 400,000-b/d refinery in Yanbu Industrial City and Saudi Aramco Total Refinery & Petrochemicals Company’s 400,000-b/d refinery at Jubail will help meet domestic demand to replace that served by the Jiddah refinery until the anticipated start-up of Aramco’s wholly owned 400,000-b/d refinery now under construction at Jazan Economic City, which is scheduled for commissioning in mid-2018.
While Aramco did not disclose a specific timeline for start-up of Jiddah’s products-distribution centre, Mr Al-Judaimi said the company has developed an integrated programme for the process of safely converting the complex, including a plan to redistribute the refinery’s usable processing equipment to other manufacturing centres within the company’s downstream system.