London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Abdulaziz F. Al-Khayyal, Saudi Aramco senior vice president of Refining, Marketing and International, has been appointed to serve as chairman of the board for PETRORabigh; The joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Japanese Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd. to create the Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. (PETRORabigh). Sumitomo Chemical president Hiromasa Yonekura will serve as deputy chairman.
Saudi Aramco”s Saad F. Al-Dosari, executive director of the Rabigh Development Project, was appointed president and CEO, while Sumitomo”s general manager, Toshiki Matsumura, was named chief financial officer of the new company. Also serving on the PETRORabigh board for Saudi Aramco will be Abdulrahman F. Al-Wuhaib, vice president of Engineering; and Motassim A. Ma”ashouq, treasurer. Sumitomo executives Osamu Ishitobi and Takatoshi Suzuki will also serve on the board.
Saudi Aramco said in a statement posted on its website today that the board came together in Dhahran for the first board meeting and focused on a number of important areas, including articles of association and the company”s organizational structure.
When completed in late 2008, the Rabigh Project will be one of the largest integrated refining and petrochemical projects ever to be built at one time. A total of 2.4 million tons of petrochemical solids and liquids, along with large volumes of gasoline and other refined products, will be produced.
This project will also create third-party investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia”s private sector for utilities and other related infrastructure.
Al-Khayyal said Saudi Aramco hoped the project would be a model of success in timely and cost-effective implementation in the petrochemical industry.
"The project not only is important for our two companies but for strengthening cooperation and friendly relations between Saudi Arabia and Japan," Yonekura said.
The initial plans for the project include, as the centerpiece of the expanded site, a high-olefins-yield fluid catalytic cracker complex integrated with a world-scale ethane-based cracker, producing about 1.3 million tons per year of ethylene, 900,000 tons per year of propylene and 60,000 barrels per day of gasoline as well as other refined products.
Sumitomo Chemical, a major producer of polyolefins, will secure a reliable and stable supply of feedstock.
Although Sumitomo has been operating a large-scale complex in a petroleum-refining center, Singapore, since 1984, the Rabigh project is the company”s first step to establish a foothold in an oil- and gas-producing country, thereby assuring stable feedstock supply for its operations. The project opens a new stage in Sumitomo”s worldwide business strategy.
In August at the signing of the joint-venture agreement with Sumitomo, Saudi Aramco president and CEO Abdallah S. Jum”ah said the project was an important step forward.
"For Saudi Aramco, while this project represents our first foray into the petrochemical sector in the Kingdom, the project presents an opportunity for increased diversification and industrialization in Saudi Arabia and a platform for broad downstream conversion industry development in the Kingdom," Jum”ah said.
"It also represents a concrete example of our strategic direction in further supporting the Kingdom”s economy by attracting foreign investment to expand its economy and provide increased job opportunities for Saudi nationals," he added.