Saudi Yasref refinery reaches full capacity milestone - Gulf Business
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Saudi Yasref refinery reaches full capacity milestone

Saudi Yasref refinery reaches full capacity milestone

The refinery is now processing crude at full capacity of 400,000 barrels per day

Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Co (Yasref), a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec), said on Wednesday its new refinery had achieved a milestone processing crude at full capacity of 400,000 barrels per day (bpd).

The second full-conversion refinery in Saudi Arabia makes gasoline, high quality diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as well as byproduct sulfur and petroleum coke for export.

It processes Arabian heavy crude.

“On June 22nd, Yasref reached full capacity of processing 400,000 bpd of Arabian Heavy crude in a full conversion refinery in what we believe is a record time,” Mohammad al-Shammari, Yasref’s CEO, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

“All processing units are up and running,” he said.

Yasref is 62.5 per cent owned by Saudi Aramco while Sinopec holds the rest. Alshammari said one of the company’s objectives is listing shares in the Saudi stock market but the timing has yet to be set.

The refinery began commercial operations on April 1 and in mid-May hit full capacity processing Arabian light crude before switching to Arabian heavy crude and reaching full capacity on June 22, Alshammari said.

By the end of May, the refinery had exported 20 million barrels of diesel and gasoline and more than 150,000 tonnes of petroleum coke. It has also supplied the domestic market with refined products, he said, and is producing close to the designed capacity target of 90,000 bpd of gasoline and 260,000 bpd of diesel.

Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in upgrading and building new refineries to maximise value from exporting only crude oil.

It has traditionally been the world’s biggest exporter of crude and the kingdom’s rapid transition into one of the largest oil refiners adds an extra dimension to global oil markets.

The growth puts Saudi Aramco’s owned or equity stakes in refining at 5.4 million bpd, at least 40 per cent above a decade ago. Aramco itself markets more than three million bpd of that, tying it with Shell as the world’s fourth-largest oil refiner.

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