Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Cepsa signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate a new world-scale linear alkyl benzene (LAB) complex in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi.
LAB is the most common raw material in the manufacture of biodegradable household and industrial detergents. It is also used in house cleaners, fabric softeners and soap bars.
The agreement was signed by Abdulaziz Al Hajri, downstream director, ADNOC, and Pedro Miró, CEO of Cepsa, in the presence of HE Suhail Mohammed Faraj Al Mazroui, UAE minister of energy and industry, member of the board of directors of Mubadala Investment Company and Chairman of Cepsa; HE Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and ADNOC Group CEO; and Musabbeh Al-Kaabi, CEO, petroleum and petrochemicals, Mubadala Investment Company.
The companies plan to progress the basic engineering of the proposed LAB complex in 2018. It is envisaged that the facility will be integrated with the Ruwais refinery complex, and will incorporate DETAL-PLUSTM technology.
Al Hajri said: “This agreement provides the opportunity to work with Cepsa to identify areas for mutual collaboration that will contribute to our plans to maximise the value from every barrel we produce. ADNOC has a rich history of working with partners to unlock opportunities in its operations. Such partnerships continue to be an important enabler of our growth strategy and we see exciting opportunities ahead. We look forward to working with companies, such as Cepsa, to realise our ambitious growth goals.”
Cepsa, a Spanish integrated oil company, wholly owned by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, has similar growth aspirations and over five decades of experience in LAB.
Miró said: “ADNOC and Cepsa bring complementary strengths to the project, ADNOC providing resources and expertise in the feedstock area from its state-of-the-art refinery in Ruwais, while Cepsa as a LAB market leader provides the leading LAB technology, DETAL-PLUSTM, jointly developed by CEPSA and UOP, coupled with commercial and operational expertise.”
Al Kaabi said: “We welcome this further extension of the co-operation between ADNOC and our portfolio companies. This development is a strong example of our role in supporting the diversification of Abu Dhabi's industrial base. It will also help maintain Cepsa’s global leadership position in LAB, providing a base to meet growing demand both in the region and beyond into Asia.”
The Indian Ocean Basin LAB market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5% between 2016 and 2030, according to the latest market research, conducted by Colin A Houston & Associates Inc, a leading global market research and advisory company. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest and highest growing market for LAB, with high demand from the industrial and household cleaning products sector. With strong transportation links, Abu Dhabi’s strategic location allows easy access to serve these growth markets.
Under ADNOC’s 2030 Strategy, ADNOC has placed significant focus on its downstream business with plans to double crude refining capacity and triple production of petrochemical and higher value products to take full advantage of the fastest growing segment in the oil and gas industry.