Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical started the Petro Rabigh Project with the aim of building integrated oil refining and petrochemical operations by way of upgrading Saudi Aramco’s oil refinery and constructing a new petrochemical complex. A joint venture agreement was signed between Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical in August 2005 and Petro Rabigh was established, an equally owned joint venture to run the Rabigh complex, in September of the same year.
Petro Rabigh utilizes 400,000 barrels per day of crude oil and 1.2 million tons per year of ethane as primary feedstock to produce a variety of refined petroleum products and petrochemical products. The refinery transferred from Saudi Aramco to Petro Rabigh was upgraded to include a high olefin fluid catalytic cracking unit (HOFCC) for converting heavy and light oils to gasoline and other distillates, and propylene, a feedstock for petrochemical products.
Petro Rabigh converts ethane gas with its world-scale ethane cracker to 1.3 million tons of ethylene per year. It then uses this ethylene to produce easy processing polyethylene (EPPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and mono ethylene glycol (MEG). In addition, homo polypropylene (PP), block PP, and propylene oxide (PO), a raw material for urethane, are produced from propylene made by the HOFCC.
RAWEC is the utilities (power, water and steam) provider for the whole Rabigh Complex.