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Middle East

03.01.2012  |  Meche, Helen,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX

Keywords: [construction] [EPC] [refining] [diesel hydrotreater] [crude oil] [fuels]

Qatargas has signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Samsung Engineering Ltd. for a diesel hydrotreater (DHT) unit that will treat 54,000 bpsd of diesel, from high-sulfur into ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, at the Laffan refinery. At a cost of around QR 350 million, the DHT unit, which is aiming to produce diesel with less than 10 ppm of sulfur content with the Euro 5 specification, will be built and integrated into the existing Laffan refinery by 2014. The hydrotreater will process straight-run light gasoil (LGO) feedstock from the existing Laffan refinery 1 (LR1) and the second planned refinery (LR2).

The DHT unit has a processing capacity of 54,000 bpsd. Until the second refinery is operational, the unit will run at 50% of its designed capacity. Occasionally, when the existing kerosine hydrotreater is shut down either for maintenance or catalyst replacement, the DHT unit will also be able to treat the straight-run LGO from the kerosine condensate fractionation unit. The DHT unit will be installed inside the plot of LR1, which is located in Ras Laffan Industrial City in Qatar.

The DHT unit project is being developed by Laffan Refinery Co., which is operated by Qatargas. The shareholders in the joint venture include Qatar Petroleum (84%), Total (10%), Idemitsu (2%), Cosmo (2%), Mitsui (1%) and Marubeni (1%).

Saudi Aramco and Sinopec have agreed to form a joint venture related to the ongoing development of Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Co., Ltd. (YASREF), formerly the Red Sea Refining Co. The agreement brings together two world-class companies to complete the construction and operate a highly competitive full-conversion refinery in Yanbu.

The YASREF project involves construction of a new grassroots refinery on the Yanbu site covering over 5.2 million square meters. With construction well underway, the project is on schedule with 10% of construction completed.

The YASREF refinery is scheduled to be operational in the second half of 2014. The refinery will process 400,000 bpd of Arabian Heavy crude oil and produce high-quality transportation fuels. It is set to produce 90,000 bpd of gasoline, 263,000 bpd of ultra-low-sulfur diesel, along with byproducts consisting of 6,200 metric tpd of petroleum coke and 1,200 metric tpd of sulfur.

Saudi Aramco’s extensive and integrated hydrocarbon facilities in Yanbu will be used to supply crude-oil feedstock to YASREF and to export transportation fuels. The refinery project includes mega-processing units, utilities and interconnecting piping, associated crude-oil and refined product storage, as well as the offsite facilities necessary to support safe and efficient refinery operation.

It is expected that approximately 60% of the total project value will be spent in Saudi Arabia through detailed engineering executed in local design offices, material procurement from local manufacturers and suppliers, and the utilization of Saudi construction companies. In addition, new technology consisting of petroleum coking will be implemented as part of this projectHP

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