By SUMMER SAID
Saudi Arabia's 400,000 bpd refinery and terminal in Jazan on
the Red Sea will be completed within four years, the kingdom's
oil minister Ali al-Naimi has said, indicating a delay in the
long expected mega plant.
"We are now working on building a huge industrial project in the Jazan region that
will include an advanced refinery, which will be completed
within four years," Mr. Naimi said in speech published by the
official Saudi Press Agency."
Saudi Aramco said in 2012 the complex was scheduled to be
completed in late 2016. It has signed engineering, procurement
and construction contracts for the project.
However, industry sources have said the refinery is facing
some delays in the infrastructure.
The Jazan refinery will provide refined products for the
domestic market, which is facing rapidly rising demand. The
marine terminal will have the capacity to handle very large
crude carriers for the supply of crude oil to the refinery, and
berths to support refined product exports from the refinery.
The project was initially due to be
implemented by the Saudi government as a private sector
initiative but, after generating limited interest, was handed
over to Aramco.
Saudi Arabia, the Middle East's biggest economy, has seen
its domestic energy requirements surge in recent years as the
government spent oil revenues on new industries and
infrastructure to diversify the local economy and as the
kingdom's population grows.
Aramco, top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, plans to invest $35
billion over the next five years in crude oil exploration and development in a bid
to keep its oil production portfolio robust, the firm's chief
executive, Khalid al-Falih, said last year.
Dow Jones Newswires