Aramco is making its biggest investment in South Korea to develop one of the world’s largest refinery-integrated petrochemical steam crackers through its S-OIL affiliate.
The $7bn 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, which increases chemical yield and reduces operating costs.
It follows an earlier $4bn investment into the first phase of the petrochemical expansion completed in 2018.
Located at S-Oil’s existing site in Ulsan, the new plant is planned to have the capacity to produce up to 3.2 million tonnes of petrochemicals annually and include a facility to produce high-value polymers. The project is expected to start in 2023 and be completed by 2026.
The steam cracker is expected to process by-products from crude processing, including naphtha and off-gas, to produce ethylene — a building block petrochemical used to make thousands of everyday items. The plant is also expected to produce propylene, butadiene and other basic chemicals.
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