Petroleum and natural gas company, Aramco, is making its biggest ever investment in South Korea to develop one of the world’s largest refinery-integrated petrochemical steam crackers through its S-OIL affiliate. This is in line with the company’s strategy to maximise the crude to chemical value chain.
The $7 billion (€6.7 billion) Shaheen project aims to convert crude oil into petrochemical feedstock and would represent the first commercialisation of Aramco and Lummus Technology’s TC2C thermal crude to chemicals technology.
Located at S-Oil’s existing site in Ulsan, South Korea, the new plant is planned to have the capacity to produce up to 3.2 million tons (2.9 million tonnes) of petrochemicals annually and include a facility to produce high-value polymers. The steam cracker is expected to process by-products from crude processing, including naphtha and off-gas, to produce ethylene.
Aramco president and CEO, Amin H. Nasser, says: ‘The global petrochemical landscape is rapidly evolving with demand growth anticipated to accelerate, driven in part by rising consumption from Asia’s emerging economies. That is why S-Oil’s Shaheen is well-positioned to meet the rising demand for the materials that will be required across the region’s key industries. By further integrating refining and chemical processes through the first commercialization of Aramco’s thermal crude to chemicals technology, we aim to create a more efficient, competitive and sustainable platform for growth, while paving the way for further downstream expansion.’
The project is expected to start in 2023 and be completed by 2026.